>meet the colchester ambassadors.

Julian Lamb
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Julian Lamb

Director, Barkley Projects
Julian Lamb Julian Lamb
Know about me Julian Lamb

Julian Lamb

Designation:

Director, Barkley Projects

Phone:

01206 814720

Email:

julian@barkleyprojects.co.uk

Website URL:

http://barkleyprojects.co.uk

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Julian has lived in Colchester all his life, working in construction and property development locally for over 40 years. The city is important to him and he is keen to see it continue to thrive through the innovative opportunities that are on the horizon.

How would you best describe Barkley Projects and its values?

Barkley Projects is a commercial and residential property development company which aims to produce a high-quality product with a personal touch.

Who started Barkley Projects and when, how has it evolved to date?

Barkley Projects was started in 2003 to work alongside a large regional building contractor. It has since evolved and undertakes all kinds of property work. It partners with other businesses and has a portfolio of rental properties. 

How big is Barkley Projects now?

There are two partners, but numbers actually working for us depends on the developments we are doing as we employ many Contractors. 

How do you see Barkley Projects evolving over the next 5 years?

We will continue to develop individual sites which is most likely to be housing projects. However, we will continue to look out for commercial opportunities as well, with view to increasing our portfolio of property.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based business?

Colchester is an up and coming place. It is has a feel near enough to the benefits of London but without the hugely expensive housing prices. The substantial growth in the area creates excellent opportunities, and business networks in the area are strong. Rail networks are also improving, which will have a big impact on the city. Likewise, the knowledge and use of technology makes the city a real hub for business. 

What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

There could be more focus on the city centre with proper investment to make it a place to attract more visitors. Having a pedestrianised High Street, even for part of the day, would go a long way towards this. Also, in the long term, the widening of the A12 which although may initially cause a traffic challenge will then create benefits which most certainly outweigh this, making access in to Colchester and surrounding areas easier and quicker.

As the city expands, what opportunities does this create for both Barkley Projects and for the city generally?

For us, growth allows us to re-develop more sites for housing and to look for more commercial opportunities. With the city’s fast expansion also brings the benefit of attracting a wider range of shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. 

Of the 4 themes promoted by Colchester Ambassadors, what is the most important to you and why?

No Better Place for Your Family and Business to Live and Grow. Colchester is a great place for families. It has a rich heritage with beautiful countryside, including the famous Constable Country, on the doorstep. When the city centre is regenerated we will create an attractive and safe environment for local families to enjoy as well as encouraging more visitors.

Chris Morgan
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Chris Morgan

Local Director, Metro Bank
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Chris Morgan

Designation:

Local Director, Metro Bank

Website URL:

http://www.metrobankonline.co.uk

Biography

Chris is the Local Director of Metro Bank Colchester, a Director of the city centre BID and a non-exec Director of the Colchester based, Queen's Voluntary Service Award-winning ‘Lads Need Dads CIC’.

About Metro Bank

Metro Bank launched in 2010 as the first new high street bank in more than 100 years.

The revolutionary UK bank offers personal, business, commercial and private banking services, focusing on creating FANS by providing an unparalleled banking experience.

Priding itself on giving customers the choice to bank however and whenever they want, it's continuing to grow its UK store network, while offering customers an award winning app, full internet banking facilities and UK based contact centres manned by people not machines.

It has already over 1.6million customer accounts, with new customers voting with their feet and joining every day.

Mark Jarman-Howe
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Mark Jarman-Howe

Chief Executive, St Helena
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Mark Jarman-Howe

Designation:

Chief Executive, St Helena

Website URL:

https://www.sthelena.org.uk

Biography

Mark is Chief Executive of St Helena Hospice a charity helping local people face incurable illness and bereavement.  It also has a growing range of retail and trading activities in support of our fundraising.

His expertise includes charity and public sector management, social enterprise and investment, executive and non-executive Board experience, and the health and care sector

St Helena Hospice

St Helena is the local hospice care charity since 1985. We help people face incurable illness, supporting them and their families, friends and carers. We also support children and adults who are facing bereavement.

By visiting them in their homes, over the phone with our 24/7 advice line, through our day therapies, and at The Hospice we reach out to members of our community, helping them to make their own choices and live with dignity.

We work closely with other local health and social care partners, and provide a wide range of palliative and end of life care education and training.

Phil Dennis
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Phil Dennis

Director – Commercial Property, Savills
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Phil Dennis

Designation:

Director – Commercial Property, Savills

Website URL:

http://www.savills.com

Biography

Born in Colchester, Phil is the Director in Charge of the Chelmsford Commercial Team which specialises in providing agency and professional advice on industrial, office and retail property across Essex.

Savills

Savills is a global property consultancy with over 160 years’ experience and with 600 offices across more than 60 countries.

In the UK Savills has a network of over 120 offices othering a range of property services covering residential estate agency, new homes sales, investment, management, development and commercial property.

 

 

Sean Stuttaford
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Sean Stuttaford

CEO, Thompson Smith and Puxon
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Sean Stuttaford

Designation:

CEO, Thompson Smith and Puxon

Website URL:

https://www.tsplegal.com

Biography

Serving as the CEO of Thompson Smith and Puxon, and board member of Lawnet Ltd, I bring expertise in professional service firm management and business development, particularly in fostering growth and leading change initiatives. I am best positioned to contribute to projects aimed at stimulating economic development, rural initiatives, technological solutions and enhancing the legal and business framework within Colchester city.

Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP)

Established in 1879, Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) is one of the leading law firms in Essex, with offices in Colchester and Clacton. We offer a full range of legal advice to businesses and individual clients.

Our specialist practice areas, with accredited lawyers and attentive support staff, ensure you receive the most professional and practical advice available. We continually invest in staff development and new technology, and are responsive and adaptable to client needs.

The partners and staff at TSP bring together local and regional knowledge with City firm experience enabling us to compete effectively with large London practices.

Craig Newnes
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Craig Newnes

Franchisee, McDonalds Colchester
Craig Newnes Craig Newnes
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Craig Newnes

Designation:

Franchisee, McDonalds Colchester

Email:

CNewnes@uk.mcd.com

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Craig is the Managing Director of CGN Restaurants Ltd - (McDonald's Franchisee) in Colchester, Tendring & Sudbury.  He specialises in hospitality and owns and manages 5 restaurants in Colchester, employing over 650 staff and managers and am one of the largest employers in the city.  As a Colchester Ambassador and a McDonald's brand ambassador he supports and sponsors many organisations, charities and events.

How would you best describe CGN Restaurants Ltd – McDonalds Franchisee and its values?

A big brand franchise which is a people-business dedicated to its customers.

Who started CGN Restaurants Ltd –McDonalds Franchisee and when, how has it evolved to date?

I moved to Colchester in 2014. Prior to that I had a franchise in London, but I sold up and moved here and took over the three existing McDonalds restaurants. In 2015 I identified, then opened, a 4th branch, near to the Stadium.

How big is CGN Restaurants Ltd – McDonalds Franchisee now?

There are 4 branches, 3 of which are drive-through. I employ 520 staff, with 48 managers and a senior team of 10.

How do you see CGN Restaurants Ltd – McDonalds Franchisee evolve further over the next 5 years?

I feel there’s room for another out of town restaurant/drive-through. Branches will be refurbished and mobile ordering will evolve. Despite out of town growth, I would not want to close the High Street branch unless, due to rent and rates, I had to.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based business?

There is fantastic energy in the city. It’s growing rapidly. There’s a great sense of community and of giving back to the community through clubs, volunteering and giving to charities. There are schemes like COLBAC (Colchester Business Against Crime) where businesses work with the Police to fight crime. In fact, last year Colchester got Purple Flag Status, accredited to towns that are diverse, enjoyable and safe place at night.

 What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

Traffic control and congestion and road networks. The volume of new people to the city can create issues but that’s a good problem to have.

As the town expands, what opportunities does this create for both CGN Restaurants Ltd – McDonalds Franchisee and for the town generally?

Extra custom. I have seen a lot of change in my time here. The growth makes the city an exciting place to be. Bring it on.

Of the 4 key themes being promoted by Colchester Ambassadors, which is the most important to you and why?

No Better Place for Your Family and Business to Live and Grow.

Simon Blaxill
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Simon Blaxill

Managing Director, Kent Blaxill Group
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Simon Blaxill

Designation:

Managing Director, Kent Blaxill Group

Website URL:

https://www.kentblaxill.co.uk

Biography

Simon is a Director of Kent Blaxill Properties Ltd., and also Chairs the We Are Colchester group and is Chair of the Our Colchester Business Improvement District.

Kent Blaxill Group Ltd

Formerly Managing Director of Kent Blaxill Group Ltd, a family owned building supplies company, founded in 1838 as an ‘oil and colour merchant.’

The first shop was in opened in front of Colchester Castle in the time of Victorian cobbled streets. The business outgrew its various town centre locations and moved its headquarters and operations to 7-acre site 2 miles south of Colchester.

Kent Blaxill now has 16 stores from Norwich to Milton Keynes and from Chelmsford to Stamford. The company has a niche strength in the supply of quality trade and consumer paints and is opening 3 new branches a year.

Seven generations of Kent and Blaxill families have managed the business since its formation 181 years ago.

David King
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David King

Leader, Colchester City Council
David King David King
Know about me David King

David King

Designation:

Leader, Colchester City Council

Email:

david.king@colchester.gov.uk

Website URL:

https://colchester.gov.uk

Former member of UK Senior Civil Service, member of the Royal College of Defence Studies.  

Expertise in public sector cooperation and partnership and how the City Council can aid and enable business and inward investment.  

Paul Beresford
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Paul Beresford

Chief Executive Officer, Beresford Group Ltd
Paul Beresford Paul Beresford
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Paul Beresford

Designation:

Chief Executive Officer, Beresford Group Ltd

Website URL:

https://www.beresfords.co.uk

Beresfords started in Essex 55 years ago in 1968. We are an independent family business that has grown from a single office practice to a multi-disciplined property group covering all areas of the property world.

Beresfords employs around 240 people in eighteen locations across the County, yet we are proud to still retain our original values of professionalism and personal service.

We opened our Colchester office 15 years ago and it has proved to be a valuable addition to the Beresfords branch network, which extends across Essex from Greater London to the Suffolk/Hertfordshire borders.

Richard Bowdidge
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Richard Bowdidge

Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation
Richard Bowdidge Richard Bowdidge
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Richard Bowdidge

Designation:

Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation

Website URL:

https://www.tombowdidgefoundation.org

Biography

Born in Colchester, Richard went to school in the city and has lived in the area all his life.  He has worked in the insurance market for some 30 years and works for a Lloyd’s insurance broker in London.  He is responsible for the management of a specialist team advising corporate clients on their complex insurance requirements.

The Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation

Richard takes an active role in the management and direction of the Foundation, which has its HQ in Colchester.  He also takes an active part in managing and creating fundraising opportunities, including events and especially corporate partnerships. Recently the Foundation has invested over £57,000 into Colchester Hospital to provide facilities for teenagers and young adults with cancer.

 

Andy Green
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Andy Green

Director, Comfort Services Group
Andy Green Andy Green
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Andy Green

Designation:

Director, Comfort Services Group

Website URL:

https://www.comfortservicesgroup.co.uk

Comfort Services Group offers wide range of bespoke services including HVAC Validation & Commissioning, Water Hygiene Legionella Control, Process Water Treatment and Ductwork Cleaning. We pride ourselves on cost-efficient, practical thinking, and safety centric approach.

Our customers benefit from our +20 years of experience in delivering integrated environmental services for companies across London and the South East.

We believe in offering advice as well as providing a service to our customers and we make sure our clients enjoy tailor-made solutions that meet their individual requirements. Not only are we passionate about providing services that help reduce harmful impacts on the environment, but we are passionate about giving back to our community as a business.

We proudly sponsor a range of local teams and charities and believe giving back to the community helps to shape it for the better, providing a safe, welcoming environment for generations to come.

 

Pamela Donnelly
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Pamela Donnelly

Chief Executive, Colchester City Council
Pamela Donnelly Pamela Donnelly
Know about me Pamela Donnelly

Pamela Donnelly

Designation:

Chief Executive, Colchester City Council

Email:

pamela.donnelly@colchester.gov.uk

Website URL:

https://www.colchester.gov.uk

Biography

Pam Donnelly is Chief Executive at Colchester City Council, one of the fastest growing places in the UK. Colchester was Britain's first, and is one of its latest cities, it is in north east Essex and is a vibrant economic and cultural regional centre.

Pam has previously held the position of Strategic Director at the Council and Associate Dean at Anglia Ruskin University, with a background in banking and finance.

Steve Mannix
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Steve Mannix

Chief Executive, Mercury Theatre
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Steve Mannix

Designation:

Chief Executive, Mercury Theatre

Website URL:

https://www.mercurytheatre.co.uk

The Mercury Theatre Colchester is the most active producing theatre in East Anglia, and a vital centre of excellence in the East’s growing economy.

Rooted in its local community, the theatre touches over 130,000 people in colchester and the surrounding area each year through the vibrant and broad programme we stage across two auditoria, and through community education partnerships.

Under the Made in Colchester brand, the Mercury creates theatre which reaches audiences and generates critical attention regionally and nationally. The Mercury is a champion of regional arts, both as an active co-producer with other venues and companies and also touring our own productions to audiences across the uk.

Michael Reeves
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Michael Reeves

Director, Arbora Homes
Michael Reeves Michael Reeves
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Michael Reeves

Designation:

Director, Arbora Homes

Website URL:

https://arborahomes.co.uk/

Biography

Michael leads Arbora Homes a Colchester based house builder and land promoter who focus on delivering high quality, sustainable residential led development schemes across the south east.

Arbora Homes

Michael is an experienced housebuilding professional with a proven track record in identifying, acquiring, and managing delivery of a range of development schemes across the Home Counties.

As a premium residential developer, Arbora Homes creates sustainable communities by building innovative, aspirational homes in desirable locations.

Arbora homes are impeccably designed and elegantly finished with premium features and high-end specifications for aspirational, low-carbon living. Purposeful design for a sustainable future.

As land experts with investor backing, we can optimise a variety of land development opportunities and are sensitive to the delicate nature of land development. We know what your land means to you and your wider community.

Passionate about sustainable housing development, we continuously look to improve our Arbora homes through innovation and quality.

Passion drives us forward.

Toby Freeman
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Toby Freeman

CEO, Robin Cancer Trust Toby Freeman
Toby Freeman Toby Freeman
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Toby Freeman

Designation:

CEO, Robin Cancer Trust Toby Freeman

Website URL:

https://www.therobincancertrust.org

Biography

Toby is the Founder & CEO of The Robin Cancer Trust, the UK's leading germ cell cancer charity.  The RCT is based in Colchester and works nationally to educate, engage, and empower young people affected by testicular and ovarian cancers.  Toby is a multi-award-winning charity CEO, recipient of the British Citizen Award for services to healthcare, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  Toby is also CEO of the Colchester Half-Marathon, a flagship community event for the City and the region.

The Robin Cancer Trust

The Robin Cancer Trust is the UK’s only germ cell cancer awareness charity – we raise awareness, reduce embarrassment and save lives through the early detection of testicular & ovarian cancers in young adults.

Based in Colchester, we founded The Robin Cancer Trust in 2012 following the untimely death of our son and brother, Robin Freeman, aged just 24.

We have grown into an award winning non-profit, leading the national conversation on germ cell cancers at events, in print and online – having reached over 9 million people with our life-saving cancer awareness campaigns.

Tim O’Connor
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Tim O’Connor

Corporate Partner, Scrutton Bland
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Tim O’Connor

Designation:

Corporate Partner, Scrutton Bland

Website URL:

https://www.scruttonbland.co.uk

Biography

Tim is an Audit Partner at Scrutton Bland LLP, a firm of accountants that has been in the City for over 100 years and is now based in the Colchester Business Park. He is interested in seeing the growth in the commercial sector in the city and also ensuring close links with employers and the high quality education providers to keep as much talent locally as possible.

Scrutton Bland

Scrutton Bland is a leading provider of financial services to both business and private clients. From our offices located throughout the Eastern region we provide specialist tax, accountancy, insurance, employee benefits and independent financial planning advice to clients throughout the UK.  Our philosophy is simple: we believe in delivering clear, jargon free advice for our clients and in finding effective solutions for them.

Nominated for a British Accountancy Award, our cloud based service SBLive combines the latest in digital accountancy software with professional business advice to give clients with the support they need to reach their business potential.

Katie Skingle
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Katie Skingle

Director, KAT Marketing
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Katie Skingle

Designation:

Director, KAT Marketing

Website URL:

https://katmarketing.co.uk

Biography

Katie is an expert in the delivery of creative marketing and communications campaigns, project management and strategic business consultancy. With over twenty years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing and sales, Katie is also a well-known fundraiser and enterprise mentor.

KAT Marketing

KAT Marketing is a creative marketing and communications agency delivering digital and traditional marketing campaigns including public relations, web development, social media and event management services throughout Essex, London and across the East of England.

Our innovative, meticulous and highly-practical approach to all strands of marketing ensures that we channel our clients’ strengths and achieve the desired results such as boosting profiles, profits and, in some cases, turning a business around.

Karen Gracie-Langrick
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Karen Gracie-Langrick

Headteacher. Colchester High School
Karen Gracie-Langrick Karen Gracie-Langrick
Know about me Karen Gracie-Langrick

Karen Gracie-Langrick

Designation:

Headteacher. Colchester High School

Website URL:

https://www.colchesterhighschool.co.uk

Biography

Karen is an experienced educator with over 25 years within the teaching profession. As Headteacher of Colchester Prep & High School, a multi-award and accredited all through school (for children aged 2-16), she passionately believes that a good quality education has the power to change the lives of all individuals. Karen enjoys enabling pupils to reach their full potential and to become confident, active and conscious citizens of tomorrow’s world.

Karen is also an enthusiastic historian, with a Master's Degree in Heritage Management (BA in Archaeology and Classics) and is co-Director of Design Nature CIC, a social enterprise company that specialises in Sustainability Education.

Colchester High School

Colchester High School is a small co-educational  independent school, for ages 2½ to 16, where inspiring teachers build in the children the confidence, self-belief and strength of character to achieve their full potential whilst nurturing in them a global perspective and a mindfulness for social responsibility which lasts throughout their lives.

Our welcoming environment and combination of small classes and high-quality teaching allows us to give each child the individual attention they need to flourish.  Combined with an enriching and forward-thinking STEAM based curriculum that develops creative and inquisitive minds for tomorrow’s world, our pupils aspire higher to achieve their best.

The school has achieved a double excellent in its recent ISI Inspection; retained its status as a leader in Ed Tech and Innovation as a Microsoft Showcase School (for 3 consecutive years); attained the prestigious Eco Schools Green Flag Award with Distinction (2023); and most recently it gained the ISA Award for Excellence and Innovation in Mental Health and Wellbeing.

It is an education focussed on “Building a Bright Future for All”.

Gillian Marshall
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Gillian Marshall

Executive Principal, Colchester County High School for Girls, CEO Alpha Trust
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Gillian Marshall

Designation:

Executive Principal, Colchester County High School for Girls, CEO Alpha Trust

Website URL:

https://www.cchsg.com

Founded in 1909 with the aim of providing high quality education for girls, CCHSG continues to fulfil that mission as an academically selective state school combining both tradition and innovation.

With around 950 students on role, Colchester County High School for Girls (CCHSG) is one of the top-performing 11-18 state schools in the country, both for student progress and attainment. It is an academy within the Alpha Trust group of schools building on more than 100 years of high quality education for girls.

Providing a challenging academic environment alongside exceptional opportunities for personal development the school prides itself on educating the leaders of tomorrow.

With an active role in education development, research and teacher training, the school leads the Colchester Teacher Training Consortium (CTTC) and the North East Essex Teaching Schools Alliance (NEETSA).

Alison Andreas
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Alison Andreas

Principal and Chief Executive, Colchester Institute
Alison Andreas Alison Andreas
Know about me Alison Andreas

Alison Andreas

Designation:

Principal and Chief Executive, Colchester Institute

Phone:

01206 712221

Email:

alison.andreas@colchester.ac.uk

Website URL:

https://www.colchester.ac.uk

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Alison had a career in industry before commencing a career in Further Education at Colchester Institute in 1997.  A range of Senior Leadership roles followed before becoming Principal and Chief Executive of Colchester Institute in 2014. Alison is passionate about the importance of skills in both supporting local businesses and service organisations – and thereby the local economy, and also improving individuals’ economic and personal wellbeing.

How would you best describe Colchester Institute and its values?

Colchester Institute is a provider of education and skills to all sectors of the community from entry to degree level, offering full and part time learning to all age groups. We support the economic wellbeing of the community by providing to individuals the skills, knowledge and attitudes to secure, and then succeed in, employment and by providing to employers, a pipeline of skilled and qualified employees.

Colchester Institute puts the success and wellbeing of students and a positive student experience at the core of its values. It sets high expectations of all involved and aims for excellence in everything. The College values equality, diversity and respect and recognises the need to break down barriers to success.

Who started Colchester Institute and when, how has it evolved to date?

Colchester Institute, formerly known as North East Essex Technical College, opened in 1954. In the 1970s, following structural changes, it became known as Colchester Institute. In May 2016, permission was granted to deliver the Higher Education (degree provision) element of our work under the banner of ‘University Centre Colchester’.

 How big is Colchester Institute now?

There are approximately 11,000 student enrolments every year of which around 44% are 16-19 year olds in full time Further Education, 20% are apprentices and 13% are studying at degree level. The remainder are adults on mainly part-time programmes, some of which are fully funded by the government.

The College’s turnover is approximately £40million and there are almost 1500 full and part time staff.

How do you see Colchester Institute evolving over the next 5 years?

Growing the provision of skills and focusing on skills priorities in line with employer and local economic needs, in particular, providing the skills needed to support local plans. These include the growth in housing locally and regionally and opportunities related to the upgrade of the road and rail infrastructure as well as large-scale off shore and nuclear energy projects.

Construction and engineering skills will be vital to these. Additionally, the acute need for skills in the health and care sectors as well as in creative and digital media creates a huge demand which we must support. We anticipate growth in apprenticeships (with a larger volume of students choosing this route as opposed to full time study at all levels). The Government’s proposals to develop T Levels (Technical Levels) will require us to provide more substantial work placement opportunities to full-time students than is currently the case.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based organisation?

  • The College benefits from the good relationships that exist in the city with schools and other education providers.
  • The highly respected University of Essex, our partner University, is located in the city and as such, our degree students can access many of the University’s resources in addition to our own.
  • The diverse range of employers who engage with Colchester Institute as their skills provider.
  • The pro-active Borough Council.
  • The city’s proximity to London and to major ports and airports.

 What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

For us, challenges come from the fact that the city does not have a distinct predominant business sector, and there are relatively few large organisations in the local economy. This means, as a skills provider, the engagement is with many different small and medium sized organisations.

The current unreliable road infrastructure, especially the A12 and A120, makes travel between our sites in Tendring, Colchester and Braintree unpredictable.

As Colchester expands, what opportunities does this create for both Colchester Institute and for the area generally?

Expansion is good for students as they can see the opportunities that new and different businesses in the city can bring in relation to employment opportunities.

The growth is exciting. There will be opportunities for new partnerships with businesses which will lead to further opportunities for work experience and for apprenticeships – a great way of providing skills training to people of all ages.

Nationally, there is likely to be an increase in the demand for a wide range of  skills as labour and skills cannot so easily be imported from abroad.

Of the 4 key themes being promoted by the Colchester Ambassadors, which is the most important to you and why?

To me they are all important and they stand together to make Colchester great, but if I had to choose one, it would be ‘Creating Capital in Colchester’. Colchester Institute’s mission is to deliver first-class education, professional development and technical skills training to develop careers and strengthen the local economy.

The strategic plan from 2021 to 2024 has a Vision for Colchester Institute to be celebrated as an outstanding provider of education and training in the Eastern region, recognised for its significant contribution to the social and economic recovery of individuals and organisations following the events of 2020. We’re excited about the very real contribution we can make to this ambitious and fast growing place.

Stuart Bradshaw
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Stuart Bradshaw

Chief Executive Officer, Push Investment Group
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Stuart Bradshaw

Designation:

Chief Executive Officer, Push Investment Group

Stuart is the CEO of Push Investment Group which currently has seven business units within the portfolio.  He started the group in 2012 developing, building and operating hundreds of MWp of energy projects and now employs 100 people in Colchester, working in the renewables, construction and tech sectors.

The newest addition to our portfolio is Juggle Energy and our mission is to build a futuristic, data driven, energy management system and trading centre for our customers, in what we call the ‘Juggleverse’.

Stuart Cock
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Stuart Cock

Managing Director, Mersea Homes
Stuart Cock Stuart Cock
Know about me Stuart Cock

Stuart Cock

Designation:

Managing Director, Mersea Homes

Phone:

01206 383159

Email:

Stuart.Cock@merseahomes.co.uk

Website URL:

http://www.merseahomes.co.uk

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Stuart has lived and worked in Colchester all his life and has seen how opportunities can be grasped but also missed or delayed.  It is very important to him that Colchester has a sustainable future in which to thrive.  Therefore being an Ambassador allows him to do his bit in delivering that goal. His expertise is in planning and property development having successfully pursued this role for over 35 years.

How would you best describe Mersea Homes and its values?

Mersea Homes is a regional residential developer delivering high quality homes that will stand the test of time.

Who started Mersea Homes and when; how has it evolved to date?

The business was started by my grandfather in 1947 as a small building contractor. Over the 50+ years it has now evolved into a well respected residential developer carrying out schemes of all sizes including large urban extension for thousands of homes.

How big is Mersea Homes now?

We provide jobs for over 150 skilled tradesmen and professionals and have built thousands of houses in the region.

How do you see Mersea Homes evolving over the next 5 years?

We wish to continue building the business year on year but without compromise to quality.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based business?

Colchester is a fantastic place to operate due to its strong economic track record, geographical location and infrastructure making it a growth location. When you put all this together it makes it an exciting, aspirational place to live and bring up a family, so the future is bright.

What are the biggest challenges for your business in Colchester?

Ensuring the increasingly hard battle of building new strategic infrastructure to accommodate growth, as well as overcoming existing deficiencies. Making sure that education and training is directed to all parts of the construction industry so that the skilled work force needed will be readily available.

As the town expands, what opportunities does this create for both Mersea Homes and for the town generally?

Being a house builder, growth obviously means that people need good quality homes to live in which, if we do our job well, will ensure we can continue to thrive.

Of the 4 themes promoted by Colchester Ambassadors, which is the most important to you and why?

Creating Capital in Colchester. If Colchester is successful in doing this, it will ensure that it is a place where people want to live and grow, which will in turn mean that necessary skills and investment will occur. In my view we cannot standstill, the world is changing and we need to adapt to ensure we are ahead of the game.

Lindsay Barker
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Lindsay Barker

Deputy Chief Executive & Executive Director Place, Colchester City Council
Lindsay Barker Lindsay Barker
Know about me Lindsay Barker

Lindsay Barker

Designation:

Deputy Chief Executive & Executive Director Place, Colchester City Council

Email:

Lindsay.barker@colchester.gov.uk

Website URL:

https://colchester.gov.uk

Lindsay is the Deputy CEO of Colchester City Council and also is the lead Director for ‘Place’, leading the planning and development of Colchester to deliver economic outcomes and tackle inequalities.

Lindsay has considerable experience working at a senior level leading significant change across a wide range of public services.

Paul Bleck
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Paul Bleck

Managing Director, Bartech Marine Engineering
Paul Bleck Paul Bleck
Know about me Paul Bleck

Paul Bleck

Designation:

Managing Director, Bartech Marine Engineering

Phone:

01206 791552

Email:

pbleck@bartechmarine.com

Website URL:

https://bartechmarine.com/

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Paul Bleck is the Managing Director of Bartech, a family-owned Colchester based company which has been serving the oil and gas, marine, power generation and rail markets for all engine maintenance support since 1987.

Paul has grown up in Colchester since his father finished serving in the Royal & Mechanical Engineers.   Alongside his involvement with Bartech, he manages a youth football team and represents Colchester Harriers Running Club as well as British Triathlon Age-Group Team.

How would you best describe Bartech Marine Engineering and its values?

The core values of Bartech emanate from our family ownership, and are to work in partnerships, providing the highest quality and service whilst continuously improving. We apply this philosophy as diesel engine specialists working in the oil and gas, marine, power generation, nuclear and locomotive industries. The structure of the business means we are able to work with some of the world’s biggest companies, overseas navies and national railways, but always with a flexible, responsive, personalised service.

Who started Bartech Marine Engineering and when; how has it evolved to date?

The business was started in 1987 utilising the extensive diesel engine knowledge of my father-in-law, Gerald, which began in 1966 as an apprentice, then a service engineer for Paxmans, the famous Colchester diesel engine producer. He was joined by his wife Jane, who’s experience as a legal secretary was invaluable in establishing the administrative procedures and templates vital for any professional company. There are now five shareholders, all of whom are family members, who have continued to grow the business, taking on several major multi-engine maintenance contracts and representing major engine brands MTU, Moteurs Baudouin and Bosch.

How big is Bartech Marine Engineering now?

Bartech employs 23 staff, operating with a current turnover of £3million out of our dedicated 1,700mworkshop.

How do you see Bartech Marine Engineering evolve further over the next five years?

We are entering into more long-term maintenance contracts with blue chip companies which means we can provide increased benefits for our clients and more stability for ourselves. This will continue to grow across more sectors. Also, we are in discussions aimed at forming the right partnerships to develop our market in both the UK and overseas.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based business?

Companies like Paxman Diesels and Colchester Lathes have ensured a very strong engineering heritage in Colchester, which has continued with many ex-army engineers in the area. This army history has also given an underlying strength of respect, discipline and community.

As a location, Colchester provides easy access to engines in use as standby generators in London as well as many marine applications around the East Anglian coastline. 

What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

I would like to see further support and promotion of engineering in the city. With such a strong heritage, this should be celebrated and encouraged to continue. I want to see more recognition of our past achievements in the hope that young people become passionate about a career in it.

As the town expands, what opportunities does this create for both Bartech Marine Engineering and for the town generally?

With the growth of the city, we see its profile overseas increasing, creating more opportunities for overseas investment and business expansion locally and abroad. Further business growth will result in more employment and local development.

Of the four themes promoted by Colchester Ambassadors, which is the most important to you and why?

‘No Better Place for Your Family and Business to Live and Grow’. Whilst running a local business, it is important that I can continue to grow the company, providing local employment and contributing to the local economy. As a father of two, my priority is to give my children the support they need to develop and would look to Colchester to continue to expand its current offerings, to facilitate both.

Simon Mead
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Simon Mead

Chief Executive, Colbea
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Simon Mead

Designation:

Chief Executive, Colbea

Website URL:

https://colbea.co.uk

Biography

Simon runs the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea)  which is the business support agency for Colchester and the surrounding area.

It operates two business centres supporting some 64 local businesses.  In addition we run the Growth Hub for Essex and use our profits to provide business support across the region.

The Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea)

The Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) delivers dedicated business support, and our mission is to Inspire and Nurture Businesses for Success; Positively Impacting People and Communities around us using our network to work with young people; start-ups and growing businesses.

Colbea’s role is to drive entrepreneurship in Colchester, lead the discussion of what entrepreneurship is, and play our part in delivering the next generation of businesses who will be able to take advantage of the opportunities created by the city’s ambition.

Colbea aims to encourage and support Entrepreneurship and Employment through Advice, Training, Networking, Development, Innovation and, of course, Incubation – the Colbea Colchester Business Centres are currently home to a fantastic mix of businesses, creating a supportive ‘community’ environment ideal for taking that first business space.

Robert Walker
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Robert Walker

Head of Business Engagement, University of Essex
Robert Walker Robert Walker
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Robert Walker

Designation:

Head of Business Engagement, University of Essex

Email:

r.walker@essex.ac.uk

Website URL:

https://www.essex.ac.uk/

Robert is the Head of Business Engagement at University of Essex. He is passionate about supporting business growth and innovation. Robert is able to support all aspects of technology development in industry which utilises Essex expertise, including supporting grant applications for Innovate UK funding.

His team currently has the largest Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) portfolio in the UK and a collaborative portfolio of over 60 projects worth over £12m.

Michael Greene
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Michael Greene

Partner, Streets Whittles
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Michael Greene

Designation:

Partner, Streets Whittles

Website URL:

https://www.whittles.co.uk

Biography

Michael is a Partner of Streets Whittles, a firm of Chartered Accountants and registered Auditors, with an office in Colchester and West Mersea.  It is part of the Streets Chartered Accountants group which has over 20 offices across the country.

Its team in Colchester and West Mersea looks after small and medium sized organisations, Trusts and charities and private clients across Essex, Suffolk and into London, carrying out year-end accounts, annual audits, VAT returns and payroll services as well as providing business compliance, tax and estate planning, executorships and advisory services. It is committed to regular client contact and investment in staff and technology.

Streets Whittles

Established 1991, Streets Whittles is an independent firm of chartered accountants and registered auditors, with clients across Suffolk, Essex and into London.

From our offices in Colchester and West Mersea, our team looks after small and medium sized organisations, carrying out year-end accounts, annual audits, VAT returns and payroll services as well as providing business compliance, tax planning and advisory services. We also work with a number of trusts and charities.

For our private clients we support with self-assessment tax returns, estate planning, retirement strategies, trusts and executorships. We are committed to regular client contact and investment in staff and technology.

Tony Fisher
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Tony Fisher

Chief Executive Officer, Fisher Jones Greenwood
Tony Fisher Tony Fisher
Know about me Tony Fisher

Tony Fisher

Designation:

Chief Executive Officer, Fisher Jones Greenwood

Phone:

0845 543 5700

Email:

TFisher@fjg.co.uk

Website URL:

https://www.fjg.co.uk

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Tony is CEO of Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP Solicitors with offices in Colchester and all around Essex, Suffolk and in Central London. He specialises in corporate work and is ranked as a leading lawyer in both the Legal 500 and Chambers directories. He has over 40 years experience in legal practice and is a founder member of the firm.

How would you best describe your organisation and its values?

We are a top 200 firm of solicitors. Our core values are Integrity, Expertise and Respect, for our clients, our suppliers and each other.

When did your organisation begin and how has it evolved to date?

We first opened in Colchester in 1983. Our centre of gravity remains in Colchester but we now have offices in Chelmsford, Billericay, Clacton on Sea, Holland on Sea and central London.

How big is the organisation now?

We have grown from two partners with no staff to an organisation employing nearly 200 solicitors, legal assistants/paralegals and support staff over the last 30 years or so.

How do you see your organisation evolving over the next 5 years?

We are focused on further growth to respond to the changes in the competitive environment for legal services over the next five years byboth organic growth and growth by merger. Technology is going to be one of the greatest drivers for change over this period and we are determined to be early adopters for artificial intelligence applications and other innovative technologies which will support the delivery of legal services.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based organisation?

All of the things which make Colchester a golden opportunity for those wanting to grow their businesses. Good infrastructure, road and rail links, human resources, lifestyle.

What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

Those of any growing and prosperous area, finding the right people to meet the demands of a growing business. Ensuring that the infrastructure keeps up with the growth in population.

As the city expands, what opportunities does this create for business and for the city generally?

The opportunity to compete effectively with other towns and cities in the region for more investment and a greater focus on attracting growth businesses. 

What do you see as the most important focus for Colchester’s future and why?

The borough needs to believe in its importance to the region. These positive factors should help all of the different communities develop more self-confidence and excitement. I think the business community can lead that process which is why I am happy to be an Ambassador.

Nicki Treffers
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Nicki Treffers

Director, Marketing and New Business, Beresfords Group
Nicki Treffers Nicki Treffers
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Nicki Treffers

Designation:

Director, Marketing and New Business, Beresfords Group

Email:

n.treffers@beresfords.co.uk

Website URL:

https://www.beresfords.co.uk/

Born in Essex and raised in Portugal, Nicki is the Marketing and New Business Director of the award-winning Beresfords property group.

A champion of the County, Nicki sits on several BID committees and is often involved in charity and community led projects, as well as contributing a monthly column to Essex Life magazine.

Most recently she has been appointed as member of the company’s Residential Board of Directors.

Guy Longhurst
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Guy Longhurst

Managing Partner, Ellisons Solicitors
Guy Longhurst Guy Longhurst
Know about me Guy Longhurst

Guy Longhurst

Designation:

Managing Partner, Ellisons Solicitors

Email:

Guy.Longhurst@ellisonssolicitors.com

Website URL:

https://www.ellisonssolicitors.com/

Guy is Managing Partner of Ellisons Solicitors.

Born in Colchester, Guy joined Ellisons in 1995 and the firm has expanded since and now has almost 300 people and new offices in Chelmsford, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.  Guy spends most of his time at the firm’s head office in the centre of Colchester, where it was established in 1764.

Guy is passionate about supporting the communities in which the firm’s colleagues live and work, and helping them to prosper, and is proud to be an Ambassador for his home City.

Stephen Clark
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Stephen Clark

Chief Executive, Churchmanor Estates
Stephen Clark Stephen Clark
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Stephen Clark

Designation:

Chief Executive, Churchmanor Estates

Phone:

01473 215854

Email:

sc@churchmanor.com

Website URL:

https://www.churchmanor.com/

Department:

steering group members

When did your organisation begin and how has it evolved to date?

The Churchmanor Estates Company plc was established in 1985 to specialise in property investment and development across the Eastern Region. To date the company has built in excess of 2.5million square feet of commercial accommodation across the commercial property markets including in-town and out of town retail development, research and development buildings, industrial and logistic buildings together with office development both in-town and on business parks.

What are your most memorable schemes across the region?

We have carried out many of our commercial developments with a range of partners including major Institutions and Pension Funds, Local and District Councils and Cambridge Colleges, notably St John’s College and Peterhouse. Our schemes have included Chelmsford Business Park with Essex County Council, the 250 acre Chesterford Research Park with Avivia and Uttlesford District Council and the Peterhouse Technology Park in Cambridge.

What schemes have been completed in Colchester?

We have been active in Colchester for some 28 years and over that time we have developed some major schemes. Colchester Business Park, a collaboration with Colchester Borough Council, was conceived as an office park and it is pleasing that 25 years later the scheme is still seen as the premier out of town office address in the town. As well as several developments on Severalls Industrial Park we completed in 2006 the 190,000sqft Flakt Woods development and this still remains the largest factory to be built in Essex over many years. We have also been active in the town centre forming a joint venture with the local Co-Operative Society redeveloping the majority of their store in Long Wyre Street.

What are your current developments in Colchester?

We are developing a 20 acre site known as Stane Park in Stanway opposite the existing Sainsburys. The first phase is a public house and a number of restaurants which are currently being built and with phase two, a proposal has been made for a retail park anchored by B&Q.

How do you see your organisation evolving over the next five years?

We believe that the economic prospects in the Eastern Region will see steady progress over the next five years and this will enable our business to bring forward commercial development opportunities. Such developments will provide a range of  employment opportunities but will also make a significant enhancement to the built environment of the towns across the region in which we work.

How do you see Colchester developing over the next five years?

Colchester as a town has been very accepting of growth which has led to house building numbers over the last 10 years achieving some of the highest in the country. This trend is set to continue with the potential development of two garden villages either side of the town which will be accompanied by large allocations of employment land to provide the facilities for companies to grow in the Colchester catchment. Every job created has a ripple effect throughout the economy and this will help keep Colchester a buoyant place to do business for many years to come.

How do you see your future in Colchester?

We hope that we can play a continued role in the growth of Colchester assisting where we can to bring forward retail and commercial development to the benefit of the future prosperity of the town. We will continue to work collaboratively with the Local Authority, private landowners and  private and public companies to help improve the infrastructure of the town and to create viable development opportunities to help grow the employment base of Colchester.

Scott Barlow
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Scott Barlow

CharterBuilding Surveyor and Director, Ingleton Wood
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Scott Barlow

Designation:

CharterBuilding Surveyor and Director, Ingleton Wood

Email:

scott.barlow@ingletonwood.co.uk

Website URL:

https://www.ingletonwood.co.uk/colchester.php

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor and Director at Ingleton Wood, where I head the commercial surveying team within the Colchester office.  I am a proud Colcestrian, having attended Colchester Royal Grammar School and worked in Colchester for the past twenty years.

Tim Price
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Tim Price

Operations Director, Park City Consulting
Tim Price Tim Price
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Tim Price

Designation:

Operations Director, Park City Consulting

Phone:

01206 752100

Email:

tim.price@parkcity.co.uk

Website URL:

https://www.parkcity.co.uk

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Tim is joint owner and Operations Director of Park City Consulting Ltd, based in Colchester from its inception in 1997.  Park City is a service provider of Human Resources, Health and Safety and Training and Development services for SME’s and large corporates across the UK.

Tim’s previous life before joining Park City was in automotive manufacturing, becoming CEO of JL French UK and Chairing national industry representative and other bodies such as the Essex Institute of Directors and the Essex Employment and Skills Board to promote and influence skills funding and policy across Essex.  He was also Chairman of the Cast Metals Federation, a board member of SEMTA, Scientific, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies alliance and a founder member of an All Party Parliamentary Committee  supporting the UK cast metals sector.

As a Colchester Ambassador, Tim’s focus is clear and simple: to promote the City of Colchester in an holistic and collaborative way, adopting a non-political, non-partisan and positive approach, by providing an unconditional commitment to support the needs of Colchester City Council’s officers, project leads and their leadership team, acting as a critical friend and ally in whatever way furthers the positive promotion and growth of Colchester City, for the benefit of residents, visitors, existing businesses and new inward investors.

How would you best describe your organisation and its values?

Park City is an award-winning provider of outsourced Human Resources, Health and Safety Consultancy and Training and Development services, enabling businesses to improve, develop and flourish from a best practice compliance foundation to commercial solution-driven employment relations management.

People are at the heart of our organisation working collaboratively creating innovative solutions for our clients with our service delivery model based on face to face trusted relationships. We genuinely seek to become an extension of our client’s organisation.

When did your organisation begin and how has it evolved to date?

Park City was founded by Juliet Price in 1997 and is a pioneer in the field of outsourcing. Our mission has been to create organisations with engaged, well trained staff all working towards a common goal. We employ professional staff who enjoy a supportive environment with shared learning and knowledge passed between colleagues.

How big is the organisation now?

Park City started out as a Human resources service provider to local Colchester clients and has expanded significantly to now deliver services across East Anglia, the South East and exclusive London brands also. With 20+ staff Park City has grown organically over the last 20 years and expanded its services to include Chartered Management Institute, CMI level 3, 5 and 7 training courses.

How do you see your organisation evolving over the next 5 years?

Park City are leading the way locally in the field of Leadership and Management Development being the only Company in Colchester offering Level 3-7 Diplomas. Workplace well-being and Employee Engagement are key over the next 5 years. Developing the Leaders of the future is our mission and Health and Safety has more focus on the practical elements of management and monitoring as well as the compliance framework. “It’s all about what you do not what you say you do”.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based organisation?

Juliet Price, our MD, was for many years a member of the Boadicea Ladies Network in Colchester and group of Leading Business Women Entrepreneurs in Colchester. Colchester certainly develops leading business women in addition to supporting our initial growth from a diverse range of businesses available in Colchester and the surrounding area; today it offers great links to major towns and cities in the South East and London via the rail network, all important areas for client development.

What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

Workplace well-being and Employee Engagement are key over the next 5 years. Staff retention will also increase in its importance as will the restructuring potential of the labour market because of the continued increase in automation and AI technology, we are well placed to manage this transition for businesses. Continued management and leadership development underpinning retention as the job market increases and opportunities for staff to move an alternative employer as business growth continues. We may also continue to experience skills shortages thus increasing the need for internal training and development strategies.

As the town expands, what opportunities does this create for business and for the town generally?

It is important to retain the excellent business network and sense of community all working together for the greater good. Increased housing will increase footfall to the benefit of retail and leisure, business will benefit from a growing labour market and with excellent Schools, Colchester institute and Essex University, the potential for highly skilled and available staff is a real benefit. Our digital infrastructure and creative industry sector, already identified as a significant contributor, can only continue to flourish against a background of growth.

What do you see as the most important focus for Colchester’s future and why?

It is important to identify with the history and heritage of Colchester, it is Britain’s oldest recorded town and we are very proud of our heritage whilst also looking forward and to be a fast moving, agile, forward looking and innovative town ………..our mission should be to be the best location to live, work, play, invest and learn in the UK.

Growth will stretch existing infrastructure networks in the short term, particularly roads; a more radical and innovative solution is required to complement park and ride to shorten journey times across and through the town. Time for autonomous travel vehicles or pods to move in, a la Milton Keynes.

Janus van Helfteren
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Janus van Helfteren

CEO, Vancols
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Janus van Helfteren

Designation:

CEO, Vancols

Website URL:

https://www.van-cols.co.uk

Biography

Janus is Managing Director of Van Cols Ltd, a Colchester-based family-owned photographic company that currently employs around 85 people.  Formed over 65 years ago, Van Cols now also offers marketing and graphic design services working mostly in the south east of Britain.

Janus is, by trade, a photographer specialising in advertising and has lived just outside Colchester in West Bergholt all his life, so have seen it change and, travelling extensively for his company, he has the benefit of comparing it to other towns and cities he visits regularly.  Janus has been involved in trying to further Colchester, one way or another, for several years .

Vancols

Janus van Helfteren is 2nd generation in the UK business Vancols Ltd, school photographers. He has been working there since he was 19, and running it since he was about 28. The business is in its 60th year and, depending whose stats you believe, is the 3rd or 4th largest in the UK. Vancols mantra has always been quality, of photography and service to schools.

VanCols went into Processing (production) late, only some 14 years ago, previously having outsourced to various UK labs; this changed with the onset of digital, mainly because of quality, more than price.

Vancols has had an online solution (they build websites as well), dealing more directly with parents for the last 6 or so years, and are about to launch their 4th version of their online ’shop’.

It employs around 70 full time, up to 100 when flat out busy, most from Colchester, with a few coming in from Suffolk.

Janus is married to a personal trainer (you won’t believe that) with 3 kids, one a graphic designer, one an expert in social media marketing, and one carpenter (none work in the Vancols Business). He may well be known to quite a few of you, if only for asking difficult questions!

Peter Blanc
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Peter Blanc

 Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Howden Group Holdings
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Peter Blanc

Designation:

 Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Howden Group Holdings

Website URL:

https://www.howdengroup.com/uk-en/aston-lark

Biography

Peter helps to run Howden Group Holdings, the parent company of Howden Insurance Brokers, one of the largest insurance brokers in the country.

In Colchester it has two branches: a High Street branch for personal and small business customers and a larger office in Amphora Place, in Middleborough, where we look after large corporate customers.  It employs over 15,000 staff worldwide and over 150 are based in their Colchester branches.

Howdens has just agreed to become principal sponsors of Colchester Rugby Club and is committed to becoming an integral part of the Colchester community.

Howden Group

In October 2022 Colchester-based Aston Lark was acquired by Howden, the international insurance broking group, and from October 2023, Howden became the new name for Aston Lark.   One of the reasons Aston Lark and Howden are such a good fit, is our shared value of care – care for our clients, the community, and our employees. Together, we have created a standout full-service broker, unrivalled in its quality, scale and reach in the UK and Ireland.

From its offices in Middleborough, Colchester, 100 staff specialise in business insurance and Employee Benefits but also have a thriving Private Client division so we can look after all aspects of insurances on behalf of companies and their directors personal requirements, in and around Colchester.

We are growing both organically but also through strategic acquisitions of high quality brokers throughout the UK and our stated aim is to become the UK’s most trusted Chartered Insurance Broker delivering for our clients with care, passion, integrity and expertise.

Chris Newenham
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Chris Newenham

Joint Managing Director, Wilkin & Sons
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Chris Newenham

Designation:

Joint Managing Director, Wilkin & Sons

Website URL:

https://www.tiptree.com/

Biography

Prior to becoming Joint managing director of Wilkin & Sons Ltd, Tiptree in 2016, Chris was Farms Director for 10 years having initially joined the business in 2001.   As a business leader, he offers experience of farming, fresh produce, food manufacturing, management, export, marketing and sustainability.

About Wilkin's

The Wilkin family have farmed at Tiptree, Essex, since 1757, making quality preserves since 1885. We grow a wide range of traditional English fruits and use them to make conserves, condiments, and other treats in our factory by the farm.

Fruit is inspected and prepared by hand then cooked in small batches using traditional recipes. We supply an extensive range of conserves, marmalades, honeys, sauces, condiments, fresh fruit, teas, cakes, biscuits, gift packs, fruit gin liqueurs, and even Christmas puddings to markets both at home and in more than 60 countries around the world.

Tiptree products can be found in the finest hotels, cruise liners, airlines and stores. We have been proud Royal Warrant holders for the last 107 years.

As the business heads into the 21st Century every full-time member of staff is part of our Employee Benefit Trust, giving each a keen interest in the future of the business.

Jeremy Newman
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Jeremy Newman

Managing Director, Newman Commercial
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Jeremy Newman

Designation:

Managing Director, Newman Commercial

Phone:

01206 854545

Email:

jeremy@newmancommercial.co.uk

Website URL:

http://www.newmancommercial.co.uk

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Jeremy is a Partner of Fenn Wright , Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents and has 40 years’ experience of the local Commercial Property market, specialising in: Investment, Development, rent reviews , lease renewals and Commercial Sales and Lettings.

How would you best describe your organisation and it values?

Newman Commercial are an independent firm of property consultants based in Colchester with a specific emphasis on providing all our clients a personal, professional and pro-active service.

When did your organisation begin and how has it evolved to date?

Newman Commercial was formed in March 1996 and from small beginnings evolved to become one of Colchester’s leading commercial property consultancies. In August 2017 Newman Commercial merged with the Fenn Wright Group to provide an even greater width of professional services we can offer.

How big is the organisation now?

There are over 140 staff actively involved in residential, commercial and professional property advice within the Fenn Wright Group of companies it makes us one of the largest and most diverse property consultancies within the region.

How do you see your organisation evolving over the next five years?

We expect to see the company expand into other areas within Essex and Suffolk with the aim to become the largest property advisor within the area.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based organisation?

Colchester offers the ideal location from which to run our business as it is centrally located within Essex and Suffolk with excellent access to London, Stansted Airport, the east coast ports and the national motorway network.

What are the biggest challenges for businesses in Colchester?

Managing growth in a sustained way. We need to see continued investment in the transport infrastructure in particular, in order to make ease of movement a priority for businesses.

As the city expands, what opportunities does this create for business and for the city generally?

With Colchester being one of the fastest growing areas within the UK, businesses will benefit from a large local catchment of highly qualified personnel capable of working within their businesses.

Which of the four key themes promoted by Colchester Ambassadors is the most important to you and why?

They are all equally important as we need to have a vibrant city to attract the most talented and skilled workers, in order to support our businesses and embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.

Karen Ainley
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Karen Ainley

Chief Executive, Mosaic - The Integrated Marketing Agency
Karen Ainley Karen Ainley
Know about me Karen Ainley

Karen Ainley

Designation:

Chief Executive, Mosaic - The Integrated Marketing Agency

Phone:

01206 841933

Email:

karen@mosaicpublicity.co.uk

Website URL:

https://www.mosaicpublicity.co.uk

Department:

steering group members

Biography

Karen is the Chief Executive of Colchester-based Mosaic Publicity and the founder of Conscience Marketing, a new style of marketing and communications for organisations with a social conscience.   She is a journalist by profession, ex BBC radio and TV, having started her career as a reporter on the main Colchester newspaper, The Gazette.

How would you best describe your organisation and its values?

Mosaic is a progressive, innovation-led integrated marketing agency, at the forefront of digital marketing trends when it comes to website development and content. We also have a training division, Mosaic Media Training. Most of our clients are entrepreneurial in ethos and our remit is to make their ideas come to life.

When did your organisation begin and how has it evolved to date?

Mosaic launched in Colchester in 2000 after its Directors left the BBC. It began as a traditional PR and marketing agency but has transformed over the years to embrace digital technology. CEO Karen Ainley has a Masters Degree in digital marketing and runs the CIM Digital Strategy course in the area for the Academy for Marketing.

How big is the organisation now?

Mosaic has a 12-strong team, supported by a number of associates, and works with clients all over the UK, delivering integrated marketing strategies, creating websites, videos and content, running PR campaigns, managing events and designing a full range of marketing collateral, and more.

How do you see your organisation evolving over the next 5 years?

Mosaic always has its eye on the future and, because it is also a training organisation, is committed to ensuring its own team remain fully up-to-date in all relevant technologies, through the company’s in-house Mosaic Academy. Our ambition is to continue to grow organically, both in terms of staff and clients and we remain committed to staying in Colchester, where we see numerous opportunities for the future.

What are the advantages of being a Colchester-based organisation?

Colchester has become a leading player in the creative and digital sector in the region and we are proud to play an active role in the Creative Colchester community. Our CEO Karen regularly attends the Creative Colchester committee meetings. This gives us the advantage of understanding the many opportunities that are available to our own digital community, through investment in broadband, collaborating with specialists locally or taking advantage of the opportunities being offered through partnerships with the University of Essex. As a company, we also benefit from the great transport links, being close to the railway station and the A12, as many of our clients are based across the UK.

What are the biggest challenges for business in Colchester?

Any growing place faces the same challenges, particularly traffic congestion caused through housing growth. As long as investment follows in infrastructure – such as roads and rail, health and education, the city will maintain its position as one of the most charming places in the eastern region for people to live and to grow their businesses.

As the city expands, what opportunities does this create for business and for the city generally?

The great thing about Colchester is that it is full of entrepreneurs who have ‘made it’ – and although we are growing, there is incredible camaraderie and excellent networking opportunities which encourage people to trade with each other and to share skills, knowledge and experience. 

What do you see as the most important focus for Colchester’s future and why?

Colchester needs to remain entrepreneurial to stay ahead of the game. It’s one of our strongest USPs and provides opportunities to create jobs and wealth, which are then reinvested into the local community.

Anthony Roberts
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Anthony Roberts

Director, Colchester Arts Centre
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Anthony Roberts

Designation:

Director, Colchester Arts Centre

Email:

anthony@colchesterartscentre.com

Website URL:

https://colchesterartscentre.com/

Anthony leads the city's Arts Centre, known as the little church with the big attitude, located in the heart of the city.

Recent shows include Blur, Jaymini Lakum, Reverend Richard Coles and John Cooper Clarke. The venue also manages The Lawrence Walker Gallery .

Kelly Le Friant
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Kelly Le Friant

Giving & Corporate Fundraising Lead
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Kelly Le Friant

Designation:

Giving & Corporate Fundraising Lead

Email:

Kelly.Lefriant@agewelleast.org.uk

Website URL:

https://agewelleast.org.uk/

I am the Individual Giving & Corporate Fundraising Lead at Age Well East; an Essex based charity where our mission is to empower people in later years to age well and to live independently for as long as possible. Age Well East is committed to giving people the opportunity and support to reach and enjoy health and wellbeing, regardless of their personal circumstances.

I have worked in the corporate sector for over ten years managing large teams of Operational staff and have the ability to combine gentleness with single-mindedness. I am passionate about the services Age Well East provides and strive to achieve the best results to make a difference to those in our community that need our support.

Jonathan Hills
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Jonathan Hills

Managing Director, Hills Building Group
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Jonathan Hills

Designation:

Managing Director, Hills Building Group

Website URL:

http://www.hillsgroup.co.uk

Biography

Jonathan is the Managing Director of Hills Residential and Hills Building Group which comprises property development and construction businesses operating across the South East of England.

Jonathan also owns and operates other businesses outside the construction sector including Milsoms Hotel and Restaurant at Kesgrave Hall, and Hills Self Storage which is now the largest self-storage operator in North Essex.

Hills Building Group

Established in Colchester in 1920, Hills Building Group is an amalgamation of property investment, development, and construction businesses.  The Group owns and manages property and land throughout the south-east which include tenants such as Tesco, Irish Post, Halfords and St Helena Hospice.

Hills Construction is a long-standing contractor undertaking high quality construction projects including substantial homes, offices, and supermarkets.

Hills Residential is a house building company building 50-100 homes per year. The company pro-actively seeks out the best sites in the most sought-after locations and has planning permission for over 1000 plots to develop over the next few years. The company also owns Milsoms Kesgrave Hall with Milsom Hotels.

The company supports a number of charities and has recently been involved in funding schools in Ghana.

Sam Good
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Sam Good

Chief Executive Officer, Our Colchester BID
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Sam Good

Designation:

Chief Executive Officer, Our Colchester BID

Email:

sam@ourcolchester.co.uk

Website URL:

https://ourcolchester.co.uk/

Sam is the Chief Executive of the Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) and has overseen the organisation since its formation in 2018 having previously had a career in the leisure and hospitality sectors in the UK and Australia.  Sam has overseen the development of innovative and forward-driven vision and strategy to elevate Colchester's position in East Anglia and beyond.

From the development of new City Centre brand, ‘InColchester’ through to chairing the Colchester Place Marketing Board, Colchester is placed for high levels of growth with the BID at the forefront ensuring a business-led vision.

Hana Loftus
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Hana Loftus

Ambassadors Vice-Chair, Director, HAT Projects
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Hana Loftus

Designation:

Ambassadors Vice-Chair, Director, HAT Projects

Email:

hana@hatprojects.com

Website URL:

https://www.hatprojects.com/contact/

Hana is co-founder and director of HAT Projects, a nationally award-winning architecture and planning consultancy based in Colchester. Hana is also chair of Creative Colchester, a partnership that represents and supports the growth of the cultural, creative and digital sector which employs over 5,000 people across the area.