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.
Founder and Director
Chris brings a wealth of experience to Heartflood, having served as a Town Centre Management practitioner for over 20 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 20 years and having served as both Regional Chair and Secretary of the Association. Chris is also a Fellow of the Institute of Place Management and was recently awarded a distinction for his M.Sc. Place Management & Leadership studies.
Chris has also recently been appointed as an expert by the national High Streets Task Force programme to help communities and local government transform their high streets.
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.
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.
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.
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 former 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.
Having been involved in BID development since 2004, John has considerable industry knowledge, combined with experience in events, PR and media within both Local Government and Town Centre Partnership contexts. In 2014, John oversaw the creation of a BID in West Bromwich, taking the town centre to a successful BID ballot in 9 months, with an 88% majority. He then stayed on as BID Manager, driving economic development projects and a widespread events programme until 2019.
Before his recent achievements, John was a key member of the Walsall Town Centre Management team and also worked on developing the Argall Industrial and Leytonstone Town Centre BIDs in North East London, both which went to successful yes votes. As well as a proven track record in management & delivery, John brings excellent relationship building skills to Heartflood.
Sarah has developed 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, whilst also playing 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 steadily furthering her career within the Place Management field.
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.
Kim has over 20 years’ experience within retail, working in product management with both national retailers and independent stores. Kim’s particular areas of expertise are in defining the customer offer, mapping the customer journey and developing the customer experience. With this insight into customers, Kim develops strong digital and in-store trading and marketing strategies that align with the customer’s needs and deliver a strong customer experience. Kim relishes launching new projects, from idea development to delivery and has experience of launching new businesses, new websites, new products and community projects. More recently, Kim has been instrumental in building a team of volunteers for Visit Knowle, leading the place marketing strategy and spending time engaging with local businesses. Kim’s pragmatic, supportive, can-do attitude ensures projects are delivered successfully on time and on budget.
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.
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.
A highly qualified and experienced Coaching Psychologist, Martin brings a wealth of experience in specialist areas of Place Management. His work in this sector has focused on social issues arising from new housing or retail developments that affect people, communities and businesses in the areas of employment, health and education.
Martin is able to provide a critical and constructive overview of the impact of place shaping and place management initiatives and how this can be minimised and integrated into existing residential and business communities. His extensive background in Management and Training also enables him to provide bespoke training across a range of subjects relevant to place management.
With substantial experience in the design of employment initiatives that integrate the local workforce and labour market with job opportunities created by new developments, Martin is also the founder and director of Renaissance Coaching and works in close partnership with Heartflood on Place Management projects.
Iain Nicholson is an enthusiastic and experienced place manager with a strong track record of effective working across a range of town centres.
His key skills include focusing on the challenges around bringing empty town centre units back into use, working closely with business owners to strengthen their operations and using his social media and PR skills to promote places as a whole, whilst also publicising the businesses and organisations within them.
Iain has been a key player in several projects that have won national Great British High Street Awards recognition, plays an active part in the wider #highstreet debate, contributing ideas, articles and comment to discussion of its issues, including regularly hosting the national #indiehour forum on Twitter.
Iain believes very much in a team and partnership approach and brings to Heartflood the ability to mobilise people in working together to make a difference.
Tom’s been involved in events and project management for over 10 years and has a strong understanding of the Place Management industry from both a public & private-sector perspective and has developed excellent business liaison skills.
Having run the Hitchin BID operations and strategy for over 2 years, Tom has successfully organised and implemented a series of projects and events in line with the key objectives of the BID business plan. Tom took the BID to a resounding yes vote to secure a third-term of operation as well as improving and creating a series of innovative projects which saw the town gain finalist status from Central Governments Great British High Street Awards.
The attributes which Tom brings to Heartflood are embodied by his key skills in the ability to quickly build productive business relationships and to communicate effectively with public and private stakeholders.
John is a graduate of Nottingham Business School and has undertaken a range of high-profile professional roles, including being appointed Head of Global IT Project Management for Cadbury Schweppes.
Over a decade ago, John founded and became Managing Director for a new High Street leisure offering and, in 2018, the business was sold to a major leisure investor, with John now utilising his extensive business & project management skills to support a range of Heartflood commissions.
John specialises in stakeholder management and enjoys working closely with businesses to drive them forwards both individually and collectively, with a particular emphasis on BID development.
Sarah has over 20 years experience in the design industry and, alongside her colleagues, produces a wide range of marketing collateral. In a sector driven by schedules and budgets, all aspects of design are delivered on time and in budget to different clients from tourism bodies through to town centre management. Passionate about good design which delivers a clear message, Sarah works with the team at Heartflood on all aspects of design for marketing and print.
Elizabeth has worked in key roles in a number of towns and cities over the past 10 years and is well versed in business liaison and understands the passion behind many independent businesses.
A huge supporter of all things Yorkshire, Elizabeth is a past Chair of the Yorkshire and North East Region of the Association of Town & City Management, having also previously been BID Manager for both Wakefield and Harrogate BIDs.
With particular expertise in the Evening Economy, Elizabeth also has a cutting edge knowledge about the economics of towns and cities, having recently completed an MSc in Place Management & Leadership, having been appointed as a Fellow of the Institute of Place Management and a High Streets Task Force Mentor.
Elizabeth brings a warmth of character, together with a strong drive to succeed to the Heartflood team.
Helen has 25 years business experience across a range of sectors including 20 years in industrial engineering and 7 years as an independent retailer – though doing both at the same time isn’t something she would recommend!
Latterly, Helen was key to developing a BID for the spa town of Ilkley in West Yorkshire and after a resounding YES vote was appointed as BID Manager.
Despite now returning to the world of engineering in a new family business, Helen is passionate about helping other business owners and remains active in the local business community.
Helen brings strong organisational and team building skills to the Heartflood team.