MEET THE BID TEAM

Jane Hough

Northwich Business Improvement District Manager

Contact Number: 01606 723175

Email: jane.hough@groundwork.org.uk

Jane first became involved in Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) when she took over the role as Treasurer for the first Industrial BID in the UK, Winsford Industrial Estate in 2006. 

Jane has been instrumental in developing and managing Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) since she joined the Groundwork Trust in 2010. In 2012, Jane played a vital role in working with the business community in Northwich to develop the BID by taking the project from feasibility stage, designing the business plan and taking the BID through to a successful vote in June 2014.  Jane is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the 5 year business plan and building relationships with a number of partners and stakeholders.

Stephanie Leese

Northwich Business Improvement District Marketing and Events Co-ordinator

Contact Number: 01606 723175

Email: stephanie.leese@groundwork.org.uk

Stephanie, known to many as Steff, has worked in the BID team since its inception in September 2014.  Steff co-ordinates all our town centre events and works with our partners, Northwich Town Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council, to deliver some of the best events the town centre has seen in decades. Steff also co-ordinates the BID’s employee seminar and training schedules and plays a key role in co-ordinating the BID’s marketing and PR communications.

BID EXECUTIVE BOARD

Micheal Thomas

McDonald’s
Francisee of McDonald’s
Chair of the BID

Biography

Previously I have been trusted to run large organisations both in the UK and USA and I started working for myself on returning to the UK in 2010.

I am married with three children all growing up very quickly, according to my wife I also have joint responsibility for two cats and a black dog. [She tells me he is the best working cocker in the world]

I joined the McDonald’s brand, since I believe as a franchisee we are supported in our efforts to give back to our local community.

We started in Northwich in 2016 and we have significantly grown the business resulting in us being able to offer over 100 new jobs to local people with great employment benefits and opportunities coupled with ongoing significant development for existing staff.

We are ongoing with our support for local community groups and inparticular we seek to support our staff with individual charity work.

We are looking forward to continuing to grow our business and support the local business and community.

Phil Bower

Northwich Art Shop
Owner
Vice Chair

Biography

Having worked in the packaging design sector at a senior level for many years I took to a more flexible career about 15 years ago, running a business consultancy focusing on employee motivation and then in partnership with my wife setting up a food manufacturing company in the South West making Vegan ice cream, as well as being a catalyst for change in reopening a community theatre in Taunton after it went into receivership!  

 

We moved ‘home’ to the North West in 2015 and decided to invest in a business in Northwich (having started my retail career some 30 years earlier in Northwich). Northwich is a special town with a vibrant and committed community, and a High Street to match.

 

I joined the Northwich BID board in 2019 and enjoy being part of the team committed to delivering added value to our visitors and customers to our town.

Ann Johnson

Santander
Branch Director
Treasurer

Biography

Ann first became involved in Business Improvement District when supporting the Altrincham first bid proposals and has brought her experience and learning to the Northwich BID.

Ann is very passionate about the Northwich BID and spends time listening to businesses to understand and listen to their issues and concerns and feedback bringing them to the BIDS attention when needed.

Lina Higuita

Barons Quay
Operations Manager

Board Member

Biography

Originally from Colombia (South America) and with more than 15 years’ experience in facilities management in the UK, I have been focusing on managing properties within the retail and leisure industries over the last five years. Most recently, I had been managing a fully occupied retail and leisure operation in Birmingham City Centre before moving to the North West to head the management team at Barons Quay.

Managing a scheme like Barons Quay is a great challenge. Our first year has been focused on balancing the complicated and broad issues of managing a new scheme under development, whilst still providing a safe and welcoming environment for our businesses, visitors and members of the public in general.

As the Centre becomes busier with fun activities and new businesses, our focus will be to deliver a great shopping and leisure experience whilst promoting positive community involvement and contributing towards the economic growth of Northwich.

Ian Massey


Sainsbury’s
Board Member

Biography

I have worked for Sainsbury’s for over 25 years, and I am very proud to say I work for a company with such strong Core values, for our Customers, our Colleagues, the Enviroment and the world we live in. 

 

Sainsbury’s has played such a big part in shaping our Countries Retail landscape, with our brand celebrating it’s ‘150 year birthday’ last year. This was supported by the business with 150 days of volunteering to complete projects within the community, myself, my family and my store colleagues supported the regeneration of the gardens at Age UK in Northwich, and the final results were really well received by their members, creating a much more tidy, peaceful garden space for them to relax and unwind in.

 

I live near Helsby and I am married to Michelle, we have 2 beautiful Children Jasmine 12 and Ashton 10. This year we decided the time was right to have another addition to our family – A little Zuchon puppy called Coco, who is adorable but extremely hard work…

 

Working within such a fast paced Retail enviroment, I am able to support, Coach and develop my team to achieve their own personal potential, whilst also ensuring we offer our customers the very best service and shopping experience as they shop with us each week.

 

Working within the community continues to be at the forefront of my mind, and I am very pleased to have been able to support lots of local charities as well as the larger ones, using our company charity donation budget. Our support and donations have helped local clubs, scout groups and schools to plan and organise events to achieve their own fundraising or activities, whilst also having some Fun.

 

I am looking forward to meeting the rest of the BID team and supporting the local community and businesses in any way I can, Ensuring Northwich continues to grow and develop in the future.

Gerard Rooney

Mosshaselhurst Solicitors
Managing Director

Board Member

Biography

Gerard (Gerry) was born and educated in Northern Ireland before graduating in Law from Liverpool University in 1976. He qualified as a Solicitor in 1980 and has been senior partner of mosshaselhurst Solicitors since 1997. As well as managing the business he is an experienced court practitioner in Personal Injury, Employment, Landlord and Tenant, Debt Collection and resolution of business and personal disputes.

Gerry enjoys his golf at Sandiway and Porthmadog Golf Clubs, also supporting Northern Ireland Football Club and Ireland Rugby and enjoys time at music festivals (veteran of Glastonbury 2010 and 2016) and spending time in North Wales.

Former president of Cheshire and North Wales Law Society, Gerry is now an enthusiastic executive on the Board of the Northwich Business and Improvement District (BID) which he believes provides fantastic energy and support working to develop Northwich town centre into one of the most attractive town centres in the country.

Chris Mundie

The Salty Dog
Owner
Board Member

Biography

Chris toured in a band for a decade prior to opening the Salty Dog, so brings a different sort of experience to the board. He went to school and college in Northwich and has been an on and off resident all of his life. Some have described Chris’s pub as a catalyst for the Northwich Cultural Revolution – he will happily accept these lofty accolades and continue to push for cool stuff to happen in Northwich as the town develops and becomes the destination town we all know it can be.

Chris Shaw

Northwich Town Council
Town Clerk
Board Member

Wendy Batey-Gray

Solutions 24-7 Ltd
Director
Board Member

Biography

After graduating from the University of Manchester with a 1st class joint honours degree in Business Management with Media Studies, specialising in IT and Marketing, I worked within Media and Marketing before retraining to become a Secondary School Teacher whilst my children were young.

I worked at Hartford Church of England High School as a teacher of Business Studies and ICT for eight years before leaving to establish a Marketing and PR Agency in the centre of Northwich with my husband.

Solutions 24-7 was born and five years later we have grown into a successful agency, employing a local workforce of talented individuals and have the honour of working with some of the biggest brands in the UK.

It was while working for Solutions 24-7 that I became the Vice Chair of the BID Executive Board, with my passion for Northwich a key driving force behind my involvement for the BID.

I’m also a Governor at the County High School Leftwich where I use my transferable skills to help make a difference at the School and the community it serves.

I’m looking forward to continuing to play a part in the ongoing expansion of Northwich and watching the business community I serve flourish as a result.

Victoria Poole

Susan Howarth & Co Solicitors
Board Member

Biography

Victoria is a Director of Susan Howarth Solicitors Ltd of Northwich.

Victoria specialises in all aspects of Family Law, including divorce, finances, domestic abuse, the Children’s Act and mediation.

Victoria is a Resolution-trained Mediator, a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Domestic Violence and Children Law (private), an FMC Accredited Family Mediator (all issues).

Victoria is a committed, compassionate and honest is how clients frequently describe Victoria as she is incredibly dedicated and has an extraordinary work ethic, often ‘going that extra mile’ for her clients. For Victoria, it’s simple – her focus is on making a difference and helping her clients when they are often at their most vulnerable.

Outside of work, Victoria is a busy mum of two and owns a cavapoo and a cat, so life revolves around her family. When she’s lucky enough to grab some ‘me time’, Victoria loves diving into anything written by Lee Child or David Baldacci. An interesting ‘did you know’ fact about Victoria: she holds a motorbike licence!

Victoria is committed to the ongoing improvements of Northwich town.

Councillor Sam Naylor

CWAC & Northwich Council
Board Member

Biography

Cheshire West and Chester Councillor for Northwich Witton Ward and also a Northwich Town Councillor.

Born and bred in Northwich and passionate about the Town and it’s future.

A strong family man with four grown up children and seven grandkids.

My wife is a retired teacher and three of my children are teachers.

I am a retired career police officer trained to Senior Investigating Officer level.

Following my police career l taught at Mid Cheshire College and then became a Mental Health Advocate.

I chair the CWAC Places Scrutiny Committee, the Northwich Regeneration Forum and the Northwich and Winsford District Advisory Panel.

My passion is rugby union and l am a past player, coach and Chairman of Northwich RUFC. 

Louise Hough

Crafty Stitches
Board Member

Biography

A Northwich girl, I started my working life in the financial services industry with a local company, undertaking many exams to become a financial adviser myself and travelling the UK to provide financial advice to employees of a builders merchants. During this time, I met my husband and decided to end my career and join the family business for a more ‘relaxed’ life!

 I’m now a proud mum of one, with two fur babies and a husband to look after, as well as running the family business with my mum. 

 Our shop is one of the longest standing businesses in Northwich, having been a wool shop since 1946 and in our family for the last 22 years. 

 I have a passion to get Northwich back on the map and before starting my family, I joined Northwich Town Council as a Councillor and worked on the Northwich Town Plan with my fellow councillors. I’m a keen advocate of the BID and was pleased to be invited to join to BID Board in 2020.