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The Team

Our team has the range of skills, qualifications and industry experience to deliver the right solution for your place, regardless of the size of the task. We have expansive national representation so can quickly and efficiently support the requirements of any location.

Chris Gregory B.Sc. PG Dip

Founder and Director

Chris brings a wealth of experience to Heartflood, 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, is also a member of the Institute of Place Management and is currently reading for an M.Sc. in Place Management & Leadership.

Sarah Shaw

Associate Partner

One of the newest members of the team, Sarah is currently developing her Place Management experience through the application of the strong transferable skills she brings from a career in financial & customer service management. Sarah is thorough, diligent and has an excellent eye for detail and supports a range of Heartflood corporate processes & systems and also plays a key role within market & stakeholder research and analysis. A real people person, Sarah combines a warmth of personality with keen process management skills and is excited to further her career within the Place Management field.

Martin Quantock

Associate Partner

Martin’s career has included 17 years in retail, including roles in both branch & regional sales management with a major high street retail chain. He also draws upon 7 years of Public Sector management, having worked in both Licensing and Trading Standards departments, and has also amassed 17 years in town centre management across several towns. With this wealth of experience working in locations all over the country, Martin brings very relevant & creditable skills to Heartflood and specialises in the creation and coordination of Town Centre Management structures and their evolution to Business Improvement Districts. Amongst other key appointments, Martin has held the position of regional chair for the Association of Town & City Management and been elected as President of both the Gloucestershire & Cheltenham Chambers of Commerce.

Alan Ottey, MIPM

Associate Partner

Having worked in Town Centre Management for over 20 years and covered 6 town centres across Leicestershire & Warwickshire, Alan has amassed considerable experience in the creation of Town Centre Partnerships and has also worked on the development of Business Improvement Districts. A recognised Markets and events expert, Alan has led two winning entries in the Best UK Street Market, along with other accolades, such as the Great British High Street award for London and the Market Initiatives award. Alan has also been a key member of both the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) and National Association of British Markets Authorities (NABMA) for a number of years. One of the founding members of the Institute of Place Management, Alan has been involved in producing best practice manuals published by Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and various markets industries publications and he also sits on the final adjudicating panel of the Purple Flag Awards for the evening economy. Alan supports Heartflood in advising on all matters linked to Markets and excels in developing Policy, Strategy and Operational Management plans, all of which are produced with a passionate and pragmatic flair.

Jean Ball, MIPM

Associate Partner

With over 15 years of experience in Place Management, Jean has a wealth of skills and experience in all aspects of Town Centre Management and Business Improvement Districts.Jean supports people, partnerships and places to deliver positive disruptions which entertain, change perceptions, attract new visitors, and help to reverse decline through the creation & management of projects & activities to reflect the culture and character of places.Having worked in lead roles in a range of towns & cities, Jean’s skills include collaborative working to deliver great projects, events and experiences and is also passionate about engagement, and enthusiastic about measuring value.Jean has earned a reputation for delivering on time, within budget and with that little bit of something extra. Her style is to carry out community and stakeholder consultation to establish priorities and to enact successful projects through development, delivery and evaluation.In her role for Heartflood, Jean supports people and places to achieve their goals and her processes leave a legacy of increased capacity and engagement. Jean strongly believes that empty places are sad places and thrives on supporting people to bring their places and spaces to life.

Sandy Gianni

Associate Partner

Sandy Gianni brings a wealth of BID experience to Heartflood, having been in the industry for over 10 years. Sandy developed the Solihull BID from inception to first ballot success, has delivered challenging business plans in both Sleaford, Lincolnshire and Acocks Green, Birmingham and led Acocks Green through a successful renewal ballot for a second term in 2016, after managing the BID throughout its first 5 years. A Regeneration, Economic Development and Inward Investment expert, Sandy comes with both public and private sector experience, having diversified for a 5-year period to own and run her own retail business in Devon. Sandy is an active member of Association of Town & City Management (ATCM), having served as a former Regional Chair and is the current West Midlands Vice Chair. Also, an active member and advocate of British BIDs, Sandy prides herself on relationship building with businesses and considers this as being key to the development of successful BIDs. Having always worked in partnership organisations, Sandy is a former Operations Director of the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce & Industry and a former Marketing & Communications Director of the Leicestershire Development Agency.

Chris Hollins, SFIPM

Associate Partner

A founder member and past Chairman of the Association of Town & City Management, Chris has played a leading role in developing the Town Centre Management industry including being part of the team which spearheaded the introduction of Business Improvement Districts into the UK. He is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management.

Following over 30 years in national retail, Chris launched New Horizon Limited in 1999. His company has specialised in retail market development, town centre partnerships and Business Improvement Districts. An extensive portfolio of work over the last fifteen years has included market research surveys, feasibility studies, business plan creation, project consultancy and outsourced management services to towns and cities with BIDs.

Major projects which Chris has led on in the past 10 years include an Urban Regeneration Strategy for a wide area of Yorkshire, town centre transformation proposals for Stockton on Tees and the London Boroughs of Stratford & Bromley, and property acquisition advice to developers and the local authority in Stoke on Trent.

Chris has also carried out advisory visits to clients in the USA, France, Italy, Japan and the Middle East.

His comprehensive engagement and experience across many aspects of urban management brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Heartflood team.

John Hodgkiss

Associate Partner

Having been involved in BID development since 2005, John has considerable industry knowledge, combined with experience in events, PR and media within both Local Government and Town Centre Partnership contexts. More recently, John has overseen the creation of a BID in West Bromwich, taking the town centre to a successful BID ballot in 9 months, with an 88% majority. Before his current Town Centre Manager role, John was a key member of the Walsall Town Centre Management team and also worked for Business Link London, taking the Argall Avenue Industrial BID to a successful ballot in 2006, whilst also being responsible for the development and consultation phase of the Leytonstone Business Improvement District, which also subsequently achieved a positive ballot. As well as a proven track record in management & delivery, John brings excellent relationship building skills to Heartflood.

Ged Gibbons, MSc, BA

Associate Partner

With over 30 years of experience of working in towns, cities, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Sports Development and Events Management, Ged has the skills, the networks, the contacts and most importantly, the enthusiasm, to share his knowledge and experience for the benefit of others.

Ged’s vast range of experience includes roles as Town Centre Manager in St Helens, Chief Executive of the Liverpool City Central BID, responsibility for the Liverpool Commercial District BID, Regional Chair of the Association of Town and City Management, Representative on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Town Centres and a member of the National BIDs Committee. He has also managed a number of high-profile & major events and so is an expert Project Manager.

Having worked both in the UK and abroad, Ged has been a presenter and keynote speaker on many occasions, including at the World Congress of Cities, and has carried out international work throughout Spain, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden & Belgium.

Equally comfortable presenting in English, Spanish or Portuguese, Ged brings an enormous range of skills and experience to the Heartflood team.

Paul Milmore MBA

Associate Partner

Paul is a proven project manager with over 20 years experience as a senior manager and principal consultant in both the public and private sectors. Paul has delivered numerous high profile programmes and projects through his key knowledge and understanding of establishing high performing teams and stakeholder groups to deliver services for customers.  Paul’s experience spans town centre management, community safety, emergency response services and large scale events. Paul works with Heartflood on major projects and programmes to ensure successful outcomes for our clients.

Paul Eaton

Associate Partner

Paul has over 25 years experience in the Design and Print industry and his recent career has focused on branding, creative design, print management, website creation and the development of all aspects of marketing collateral. Paul specialises in marketing and promotion for large scale events and has led on a number of town centre management projects. Within the last twenty years, Paul has spent a large proportion of his time working with large organisations and has forged strong client relationships and networks. Paul works with Heartflood on all aspects of design, print, marketing and promotion.

Gemma Thompson

Associate Partner

A communications professional, Gemma joins the Heartflood team having worked in support of the formation of the Andover Town Centre Partnership, a role from which she has recently progressed to Town Centre Manager.

Gemma has a range of experience in the design & production of marketing campaigns and supports Heartflood as both a practitioner and an advisor.

A measured and effective operator, Gemma is delighted to bring a wide range of skills & experience to the Heartflood team.

Sarah Bassett

Associate Partner

With a particular focus on Suburban, Rural, Market Towns and High Sts, Sarah specialises in engaging regional & local, public & private sector stakeholders to form formal working partnerships.

Sarah’s strong marketing background arms her with the skills required to assist towns in identifying the unique DNA of their individual place. She then guides them through the implementation of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Strategy; Place, Branding and Marketing Strategy, Digital High St Strategy; Subsequent Funding Applications and Overall Implementation. Sarah’s previous work secured a win at The Great British High St Awards.

Sarah firmly believes that future proofing town centres for the next generation is imperative. Our High Sts are key to social wellbeing, the heart of communities and vital to the economy. Her passion is for independent retail and digitally connected high sts, and her flair is for successfully engaging stakeholders and securing the future of places.

Steph James

Associate Partner

With over 11 years experience in town centre management, Steph is passionate about the health of our High Streets and seeing town centres thrive into the future. Steph has key experience in marketing, event management, local government, public realm projects, managing markets and regeneration projects and has been involved in a host of major events including the Olympic Torch Relay, Outdoor Cinemas, markets and Christmas Lights Launches.

Steph relishes a challenge and always approaches a problem with a can-do attitude and a smile. She enjoys working with people to get the most out of their place and inspire them to make a difference. She is particularly adept at managing complex networks of stakeholders within town centres and enjoys working to bring people together.

Steph holds a diploma in market administration and is currently studying for an MSc in place management and leadership at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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