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
Russell Downing, Business Development Manager
Tel: 0333 012 4285
Russell was appointed as Business Development Director for Revive & Thrive in April 2019. Prior to this Russell established himself within the BID industry, undertaking the feasibility & development of Newbury BID through to a successful ballot in 2012. Following a productive first term, Russell delivered a successful renewal ballot securing second five year term for Newbury. During his time in Newbury Russell has represented the BID industry on the advisory boards for both British BIDs and more recently The BID Foundation. Russell was also part of the first group to undertake the British BIDs Academy programme. Russell has worked in the food retail industry overseeing retail outlets in London and Bristol and a nationwide box scheme.
His business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit were achieved through a background in the hospitality industry, managing both city centre hotels in London’s West End, and smaller properties across the South of England and Wales. Russell further honed his business skills after successfully achieving a scholarship to attend Cornell University, New York State, America where he studied with both industry leaders and peers from around the world.
During his career Russell has always been a key stakeholder in the towns and cities he has worked in and he has sat on a number of Chamber of Commerce Councils and business groups, working tirelessly to improve the business community and wider community at large. He is a keen sportsman and when not working can often be found on the rugby pitch. This is where his competitive nature, desire to win and team ethos are applied, and coupled with his business skills these attributes have brought him success in his career to date and help him deliver the goals of Newbury BID. As a result the town has flourished and grown for the benefit of businesses, local residents and visitors alike.
Tammy Sleet, BID Development Manager
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 behavior 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.
Stephen Blackwell, Marketing, Events & Membership Manager
Tel: 03330 124285
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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 has turned his hand to events in recent years delivering dozens of town and city events. 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.
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.
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.
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.”