Revive & Thrive Team provide a national network connecting people, places and businesses so that they can work together to make their places better.
The Revive & Thrive Team believes that collaboration is the key to the future of the high street and where we live.
Revive & Thrive is committed to helping you find the right solution for your place. Comprising an expert team, we will help you to identify how to bring about significant improvements to the place you are passionate about.
We specialise in Place Management, particularly through the introduction of Business Improvement Districts and offer an end to end service to meet whatever needs you may have.
The Revive & Thrive Team work with some of the nation’s most experienced and knowledgeable place practitioners to deliver you information, advice and guidance on the work you do in your place. We create networking opportunities for you to share best practice and bring you face to face with people who will help you achieve your goals.
By joining one of our unique memberships, the Revive & Thrive Team will give you access to our huge network of place experts, national and regional events, our promotional platform for your business or place via our website, social media and our popular national online Place magazine. You will be part of a national framework that connects people and places so that together we can influence change where we live, work and play.
The Revive & Thrive Team proposition, therefore, is as simple as it sounds. We work with passionate people, place experts and town solution providers so that together we can make our places great.
Meet the Revive & Thrive Team
Mark Barnes, Revive and Thrive Managing Director and Founder
Mark’s vision for supporting places up and down the country began a decade ago when he left a career in Automotive Aftersales Management to work on place related projects and contracts
A three-year spell as a town centre manager gave him the understanding of the difficulties faced by place practitioners as he developed the concept for Revive & Thrive supporting and working with solutions providers and strengthening his extensive national network.
Since incorporating the company in 2013, he has grown Revive & Thrive into one of the pillars of the place-based support community and, with the recent addition of the non-executive board, advisory group, ambassadors, a growing team and the company’s corporate advocates, he continues to oversee the evolution of Revive & Thrive and the development of our industry.
Matthew Powell, Revive & Thrive Director
Tel: 0333 012 4285 or 07967 395621
From inner-city Bristol to rural Cornwall, suburbs of Birmingham to BID developments as far apart as Hexham and Hastings, Matt has a wealth of experience in all aspects of place management.
Leaving a successful career in retail in 2004, Matt trained as a Business Advisor working with pre-start and existing businesses and brought this experience, along with many innovative project deliveries, a wealth of place-based knowledge and strategic-level BIDs involvement to Revive & Thrive when he helped Mark Barnes to start the company and later joined it himself.
Matt has subsequently worked on a range of projects in towns and cities around the country, developing, delivering and managing BIDs, supporting other town partnerships and working alongside Mark on establishing and growing Revive & Thrive.
Matt is a champion for town centres and the High Street and is committed to helping business groups, BIDs, local authorities and other interested parties make their areas better for residents, visitors and businesses alike.
Nita Beeson, PR, Marketing & Communications Manager and Regional Advisor for Leicestershire and surrounding area
Tel: 0333 012 4285
Follow Nita on Twitter
I have been in Marketing for over 25 years, having started in a locally based global manufacturing company. Over the years I have worked across a range of organisations, carrying out business to business and business to consumer activity. From delivering drink promotions in bars and nightclubs, to lecturing at Loughborough College on the CIM’s Diploma in Marketing – I have enjoyed every single twist and turn of my career so far.
Born and raised in Loughborough, I moved around quite a lot during my career and worked in places such as London, Bristol and Bath – even the Greek islands for a few years – but I am now happily settled back in my hometown. I live close to the town centre with my husband and our two wonderful rescue dogs, Ben and Bertie.
I stepped into Place Management whilst working with a design agency who had been tasked with delivering a marketing campaign to secure a BID for Loughborough back in 2011. Seeing the issues faced by my local shops and appreciating what improvements needed to be made to the town from a resident’s perspective – as well as truly loving my hometown – helped me to realise that this was the line of work I wanted to be in.
As Marketing Manager for Loughborough BID, I worked on the creation of the Love Loughborough brand and established the marketing channels required to reach the public and member businesses. But – as anybody working in BIDs will know, you have to learn a lot of different skills – and quickly! So I also assisted the BID Manager on projects to tackle crime and safety, identified regeneration opportunities, offered business support and advice and sourced external funding to help our levy income go further.
Having secured the second term for Loughborough BID, I felt it was time to for a new challenge and so I am really pleased to now be working with the team at Revive & Thrive. Using my marketing experience, coupled with my knowledge from Loughborough BID, I look forward to supporting Revive & Thrive’s national projects and helping towns across the UK to prosper.
Chris Gregory, BID and Town Centre Management Specialist and Practitioner
Tel: 0333 012 4285
Chris joined the Revive & Thrive Team in early 2017 and brings a wealth of experience to Revive & Thrive, having worked as a Town Centre Management practitioner for over 15 years within a number of diverse locations.
As a Town Centre Manager and a Business Improvement District (BID) Director, Chris has developed and led award winning projects including events, marketing campaigns and place management plans and maintains a cutting edge knowledge of the industry.
An accredited Business Trainer, Chris has strong links with the Association of Town & City Management, having been a member for over 15 years and having served as both Regional Chair and Secretary of the Association and is also a member of the Institute of Place Management.
Matthew Taylor, Project Manager Place Management and BID specialism – PR and Events and
Regional Advisor for West Midlands
Tel: 03330 124285
Matt Taylor has been a hugely successful BID Manager and a town centre manager, developing his skills in the historic market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme.
With a history of running multi-site pubs and venues, he’s also highly commercial. And through an academic record in journalism and experience in the field as well as a passion for conceiving and delivering festivals, he now specialises in PR and events for BIDs
Jean Ball, Project Manager
Tel: 03330 124285
Jean Ball is a passionate champion of Place and Place Making with a lifetime of experience in regeneration, economic development, operational management, delivering outstanding events, partnership working, and destination marketing. Jean is a highly motivated, organised, positive, and adaptable management professional and qualified Member of the Institute of Place Management. As a consultant, Jean supports people, partnerships and places to deliver positive disruptions that entertain, change perceptions, attract new visitors, and help to reverse decline.
From early learning growing up in her parents’ independent retail business, to roles with Conran, Body Shop, LOCOG, local authorities and more, Jean has a wealth of real life experience to share.
Commercially astute and customer focused, Jean has an eye for detail without losing the big picture, high standards, and multi-channel marketing skills.
Jean has lost count of the number of events she has helped to deliver over a career which has included; at least 12 Christmas Switch-Ons, 3 Ceramics Festivals, 10 Opera Festivals, the 2012 Olympics & Paralympics, 3 Tour of Britain cycle stage finish events, Literary Festivals, Sculpture Trails, an open top bus tour for a Premiership Football Team (with 3 days’ notice), a Light Night with 30 venues, exhibitions at London’s Earls Court and Madison Square Gardens in New York, opera and education tours, community fairs, farmers markets, a black tie reception at the House of Lords, a fundraising concert in the Painted Hall at Chatsworth House, conferences, seminars and workshops for adults and children. She has established annual and bi-annual events that continue to prosper for many years and developed sustainable programmes that ensure fresh engagement and benefits for businesses and communities.
Jean’s ability to bring together the partners and elements needed to identify, create and deliver great value is impressive.
Jean is also one of the authors of; 100 Ways to Help the High Street, Successful Town Centres – Developing Effective Strategies, and the Buxton Economic Resilience Study.
Since joining the Revive & Thrive Team, Jean has successfully project managed two conference and supported with strategic advice about the future of the organisation.
Steph James, Revive & Thrive Ambassador for Town centres and Regional Advisor for Berkshire and surrounding areas
Tel: 03330 124285
Maidenhead Town Manager for over 10 years, responsible for delivering the Maidenhead Town Partnership business plan and supporting the businesses in the town through the implementation of a comprehensive marketing and events strategy, environmental improvements and support for existing and emerging businesses.
Working alongside the Partnership for the Rejuvenation of Maidenhead on the delivery of projects in the town centre. In 2014 Maidenhead won Thames Valley town of the year for it’s clear vision for the future.
My role involves income generation to deliver the events and marketing programme for the town centre, last financial year I successfully generated over £100k to support the activities of the town partnership.
I love a challenge and always approach a problem with a can do attitude and a smile.
I have lots of experience with working with people in various situations from running a busy town centre bar to working with community groups to help solve problems with anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood.
I have vast experience of event management from small scale high street events to Festival, outdoor cinemas and Christmas lights events.
Lucy Ball, Project Manager Place Management and Business Improvement Districts and Regional Advisor for South West England
Tel: 0333 012 4285
Lucy has worked in all aspects of Place Management and Marketing for the past 25 years. She is a qualified, professional Marketer.
Her early career was as Tourism and Heritage Manager for a Local Authority in the Midlands. Responsible for 3 heritage sites a Tourist Information Centre and the delivery of the strategic and operational tourism marketing plan for the authority, authored by her.
Following personal relocation to the South West, Lucy took up several town centre management roles as CEO of 3 Town Centre Management Companies. Duties included developing and managing BIDs, running events and delivering Economic Development schemes for these town centres.
In 2011 Lucy set up her own place management consultancy, Destination Management & Marketing. Since then she has worked with city and town centre clients to develop BIDs, from Feasibility to Inception and, in one case, renewal. In total Lucy has worked on the development and delivery of more than 10 BID schemes offering a personal service and support throughout the process and follow up.
In 2012 Lucy was one of 7 Regional Advisors for the Government’s Town Teams and Portas programme. The SW region included 47 Town Teams and 3 Portas Towns. Lucy’s role was to mentor the volunteer groups through the process of setting up and delivering a planned programme of activity to reinvigorate their towns. Some went on to develop a BID in their town: others remained volunteer bodies that worked for the benefit and prosperity of their communities and local business.
Latterly, Lucy has been contracted to work with towns and cities to devise and develop Street Markets’ Strategies to enhance the role of these in the economic life and regeneration of those places.
Lucy is a passionate believer in Place Making and collaborative working to achieve attractive, diverse, strong and resilient places for people to work, live, relax and prosper.
As well as a member of the Revive & Thrive team, she is delighted to be the South West Regional Advisor and looks forward to meeting and working with others who share her passion.
Tammy Sleet, Regional Advisor South West England
Tel: 0333 012 4285
Tammy joined Wimborne BID in 2014 having never worked in town management before.
Wimborne Minster is a unique town with an astonishing history and incredible community. As an organisation we have moved forward a great deal and achieved much, including the BID renewal in 2016.
Our focus over the next term is to prepare Wimborne Minster for the changing nature of consumer behaviour by using technology to engage visitors to our wonderful town.
We will also continue to work with other organisations and stakeholders in Wimborne Minster to achieve our vision for the town, and it is in this spirit that we wanted to be part of the Revive and Thrive team. We wanted to be part of the industry, share our experienced and learn from others
Shaun Fagan, Regional Advisor for Cotswolds and surrounding areas
Tel: 03330 124285
Shaun joined the Revive and Thrive team in 2016, keen to apply his unique blend of energy, passion and digital expertise to the curly issues facing British towns and cities in the technological age.
As Managing Director of Real Towns and award-winning Chairman of Experience Chipping Norton (ECN), Shaun is embracing his position as Regional Advisor to the Cotswolds and surrounds.
His goal is to bring digital solutions and fresh thinking to UK communities. It’s all about boosting business, attracting visitors, celebrating heritage and offering residents new ways of engaging with each other and the wider community.
His position as Network Navigator for OxLEP puts him in a unique position to connect Oxfordshire’s people and places with the enterprise opportunities they need to grow.
Shaun is also an Associate of the Institute of Place Management (IPM), winning Approved Partner status for non-profit group ECN.
- Received a Special Recognition award from the Great British High Street judges for his “Outstanding Contribution” to the high street.
- Steered ECN to the finals of the Great British High Street of the Year Awards two years running.
- Acquired extensive experience in whole town marketing, people and event management, provision of digital training, campaigns, social media, branding, software development and business analytics.
Real Towns works with Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), local authorities, business groups, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), town teams and placemakers to build communities which thrive on smart technology and collaboration.
Shaun is determined to re-energise the communities he works with by offering innovative ways to tackle entrenched problems – ways which are also realistic, affordable and achievable.
‘I know so many UK towns, cities, villages and local centres are doing it tough”, Shaun says.
“My aim is to give them an engaging and enduring online presence, using the latest software, technology and digital advances. It’s simply not as expensive and daunting as many think!”
Wendy Benson, Regional Advisor for County Durham/North East
Wendy has been supporting regeneration and growth in town centres for over 20 years. A humble start supporting one of the first town centre managers at Bradford, swiftly moving into three years of developing and delivering a comprehensive events programme, having secured funding.
Wendy moved to County Durham in 2002 to a role of town centre manager for two centres, then progressed to a strategic role in developing, delivering and managing a diverse range of projects addressing both area based regeneration and employment issues across the retail sector.
Wendy has a wealth of experience that includes:
- production of town masterplans, action plans and delivery frameworks
- marketing and promotional campaigns including event management and tourism growth activities
- strategic planning and development of physical projects, including site assembly, infrastructure improvements and public realm schemes
- establishing business networks and facilitating opportunities linked to local, regional and national programmes of support including training
- business to business growth projects for the retail and service sectors
- development and delivery of street markets, using them as a tool for entrepreneurs, offering low cost, low risk trading opportunities
- direct business support for the retail sector
- research activity to formulate best options for town and retail development and growth, and
Wendy has practical skills in all manners of activities that support the retail sector that have strengthened throughout her career.
Holding a Certificate in MSP, Wendy went on to secure a MSc. in Urban Policy and Regeneration at Northumbria University. Wendy is a strong advocate for self-development and is pleased to hold Chartered Management status, Advice and Guidance for Business, alongside her recent achievement of becoming a qualified and practicing, Personal Coach and Mentor. Wendy never takes a break, and has just signed up for a Retail Management Diploma qualification.
Wendy said: “I am looking forward to supporting, promoting and growing the work of Revive and Thrive and engaging with practitioners across County Durham (or North East) who are actively supporting our retail centres.”
Stephen Blackwell, Place Magazine and Marketing Manager
Tel: 03330 124285
Follow Place Magazine on Twitter
Invaluable member of Revive & Thrive Team, Stephen is an experienced graphic and web designer with over ten years of freelance work under his belt. He is passionate about all things design with experience in video editing and effects, web design, illustration, animated presentations, copywriting, typography and graphic design – he brings all of these qualities to deliver Place Magazine each month as well as taking care of all of our marketing materials and website design.
Having worked within the Place Management industry for most of his career he’s caught the passion for improving our communities that Revive and Thrive stands for.
Martin Blackwell, Policy Advisor and Columnist
It may be easier to say what Martin has not done!!
Revive & Thrive Team Member, Martin has vast experience in the Place sector with experience and positions such as, General Manager in retail, Town Centre Manager for Great Yarmouth during his time there, he built one of the strongest early town centre partnerships in the country with over 150 paying members – a forerunner to BIDs.
Chief Executive of Action for Market Towns Action, a “Mainstreet” national network and membership organisation dedicated to promoting the vitality and viability of small towns.
Membership Development Director at the ATCM. Chief Executive of ATCM. CEO of the Charity Retail Association. Director of the International Downtown Association in Washington and on the Board of Best Bar None in the UK, the National Skills Academy for Retail Advisory Board and the Government’s Future High Street Forum.
Martin has provided consultancy to such diverse places as Adelaide and Lincoln, Liverpool to Sligo and Singapore. He has spoken at major conferences as well as the parliaments in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin.
Martin also has his own website which details much more about the skills and experience that he will be offering Revive & Thrive and what he can offer your town or city centre.