15 inspirational people in construction and commercial property in Gloucestershire

From a sector overflowing with talent, SoGlos has handpicked 15 stand-out faces who have significantly influenced or inspired the world of construction and commercial property in Gloucestershire.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Sam Carter from EG Carter at the SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards 2021.
Sam Carter (centre) picked up EG Carter's Business of the Year trophy at the SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards 2021 — and has made our list of 15 inspirational people in Gloucestershire's construction and commercial property sector.

In no particular order, SoGlos has selected some of the most talented and inspirational individuals to work in or influence Gloucestershire's construction and commercial property sector in the last 12 months.

While narrowing the list down to 15 was no easy feat, we think the following names are well worth celebrating by virtue of the firms they work for, deeds they have done, projects they are driving, what they represent or the way they conduct their business.

Jeremy Bamberg from Factory

Although the name Jeremy Bamberg might be relatively low profile in Gloucestershire at the moment, the coming together of his Factory business with HBD will help to create one of the county’s most talked about projects. Cheltenham Borough Council chose the HBD X Factory partnership to help it realise the anticipated Golden Valley Development, a transformational project which will establish a cyber-focused business park near GCHQ.

Ken Elliot from Ladybellegate Estate

What started off sounding like a relatively modest development quickly became one of Gloucester's most eagerly anticipated renovation and repurposing projects of the year. Ladybellegate Estate’s transformation of the former solicitors offices off Commercial Road, overlooking the Victoria Basin at Gloucester Docks, into the Food Dock is destined to become home to 15 independent food outlets. Ken Elliot leads the project with her business partner, Sarah Mansfield.

Emily Mckenzie from Evans Jones

There is plenty of talent to pick from at Evans Jones, but the firm singled out Emily Mckenzie for this list, describing her proudly as a ‘rising star’. Mckenzie's career began as a planning enforcement officer in 2015 for Tewkesbury Borough Council. In April 2021, after more than five years at the local authority, she moved into the private sector, joining Evans Jones as a town planner where her stock has continued to rise. She is also a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Adrian Goodall from Rokeby Developments

Despite economic hurdles, including the Covid-19 pandemic, Rokeby Developments and its founder, company director Adrian Goodall, have persisted in their determination to repurpose many of the historic buildings in and around Gloucester Quays, bringing the area back to life as homes for residents and businesses. The company has just revealed its plans for the final phases of the project. 

Georgiana Applegate from BPE

As a senior associate in the property team at Cheltenham-headquartered lawyers BPE, Georgiana Applegate advises clients on all aspects of their commercial real estate needs. Clients range from investment landowners requiring property management advice to tenants looking to expand their property portfolios. Her skills make possible all aspects of freehold acquisitions and disposals, negotiating leases including development agreements for lease, refinancing sites, dealing with general title investigations to acquiring or disposing of businesses and related real estate.

David Billingham from Roberts Limbrick

Continue article here...

Having designed many of Gloucestershire’s most successful buildings, as well as the swimming arena for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Roberts Limbrick is well known across the county. The director of the Gloucester firm, David Billingham, has most recently been helping Hartpury College and Hartpury University to achieve its ambitious transformational investment in new facilities.

Rachel Hall from Gloucestershire College

Gloucestershire College has just scored another win for the county's construction sector, in the form of a new £80,000 groundworks workshop. Rachel Hall, apprenticeship manager at the college, said the new facilities were the result of listening to its employer partners and will enable apprentices and full-time students to build essential skills. Most of its construction skills are taught in Gloucester – but this is an investment in its Cheltenham campus and the future.

Sam Carter from EG Carter

In September 2021, Sam Carter of EG Carter was at the SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards, picking up the award for Family Business of the Year and the headline Business of the Year award. The accolade recognised the Gloucester firm’s outstanding projects, including the £5 million transformation of Kings Square, building two county schools and Cirencester College’s new T-level Building, as well as Gloucester Rugby’s new training facilities. In January 2022, he was appointed joint managing director along with brother, Joshua.

Ruth Dooley from GFirst LEP

It would be remiss not to mention GFirst LEP, a catalyst for so much change in the county, and its chief executive officer, Ruth Dooley, who was appointed in July 2021 and is also a senior partner at accountants Hazlewoods. The LEP continues to seek to be a force for change, most recently investing in improvements to the Golden Valley, Cirencester College’s new facilities, the pending Cheltenham Growth Hub and new home for Cheltenham Festivals, the Minster Exchange.

Jonathan White Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire

Jonathan White was elected vice chairman of Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire in June 2019 and chairman in 2021. The influential group was formed over 17 years ago and counts itself as ‘an illustrious and respected platform for industry improvement’ in the county. Ultimately, it exists to help all involved continue to deliver excellence for clients, for their industry and all other users through collaborative working. White is also a senior associate at Quattro Design Architects.

Richard Cook from Gloucester City Council

Richard Cook may prefer a low profile, but as the leader of Gloucester City Council, he has been unable to avoid the spotlight at numerous photoshoots for Gloucester's recent construction projects. From leading the ambitious £104 million The Forum project and the transformation of King’s Quarter, to a successful £20 million bid for Levelling Up Fund cash for three other city centre projects and a second bid for more of the same, he has helped keep the council on the front foot.

Ben Thomas from Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Ben Thomas managed to squeeze in five years at Cheltenham law firm BPE and almost a decade at Knights plc before joining Harrison Clark Rickerbys as a partner in February 2019. In January 2022 he also became head of real estate at the Cheltenham branch of the law firm, which also has offices in Worcester, Hereford, Cardiff, Birmingham, Thames Valley, Milton Keynes, Cambridge and London. His role is to help a wide range of businesses, both landlords and tenants, national and local, to expand into new premises.

Adam Padmore from Rappor

Adam Padmore, founded Rappor (formerly Cotswold Transport Planning) in 2014 and has grown the firm to £3million-plus turnover. He is now managing director of a Cheltenham-headquartered firm which is described as a multi-disciplinary infrastructure and environmental consultancy, offering transport planning, infrastructure and civil engineering, landscape planning and design, and water (FRA) and environmental management services, including air quality and acoustic assessments.

Jeremy Drew from Newland Homes

His employer, Newland Homes, describes Jeremy Drew as ‘an industry stalwart’. He has worked at the Gloucester-based housebuilder since its inception in 1999, joining its board as design director and playing a key role in developing the choice, look, feel, evolution and delivery of the company’s numerous developments. In short, his fingerprints are all over its ongoing success. In its last full financial year to the end of 2021 Newland Homes achieved a turnover in excess of £80 million.

Nigel Wichall from the University of Gloucestershire

Anyone who has watched the University of Gloucestershire closely over the last few years will have seen an institution in a process of constant change and with no little ambition positioning itself at the heart of the county. Since 2007 Nigel Wichall has been helping drive that master plan. From the £3.5 million transformation of the university's Cheltenham Hardwick Campus in 2011 to the ongoing plans to reinvent Gloucester’s former Debenhams building, Wichall has been a key figure.

More on Evans Jones

More from Business