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The Cheltenham Trust

The Cheltenham Trust, an independent charitable trust, was formed in October 2014 and is one of the leading cultural and leisure providers in Cheltenham. The Trust has a mandate to manage the venues owned by the Cheltenham Borough Council and to develop the cultural and leisure offer for Cheltenham. The venues were closed on 16 March 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. In June 2020 the Trust opened its takeaway outdoor cafes, the Heritage Café at Pittville Pump Room and the Garden Bar and Skillicorne Garden Marquees at the town hall in Imperial Gardens.

The five venues include some of the most prestigious and iconic buildings in the town, the Grade I listed Pittville Pump Room, Grade II listed Cheltenham Town Hall, The Wilson (refurbished in 2013), Leisure at Cheltenham and The Prince of Wales Stadium. It also manages the designated collection of international art, national and regional collections.

Louis Eperjesi,

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Louis has over 30 years knowledge and experience of the manufacturing and supply of building products into international markets. He has a strong commercial, marketing and product background from his early career with Caradon Mira (now Kohler Mira in Cheltenham) and Redland Plc. Since 1999 Louis has held leadership roles in Lafarge SA, Baxi Group and Kingspan Group Plc. After 9 ½ years he has stepped down as Chief Executive of Tyman Plc, a leading international supplier of engineered components to the door and window industry, where he has successfully driven strategy development, change management programmes and M&A activity. Louis is also a non- Executive Director of FTSE 250 company Ibstock Plc, a market leading manufacturer and partner of choice for innovative clay and concrete building products.

Louis is very keen on all sports and in his younger days represented the town at colts’ rugby and water polo from junior levels through to the senior national league team where he played and coached Cheltenham for over 20 years. His sporting interests now are primarily as a spectator and include membership of Gloucester Rugby Club and Cheltenham Racecourse.

Duncan Smith,
Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Duncan is an accountant currently working for a national bank. He has extensive financial and commercial experience gained across a wide range of sectors including IT, retail, shipping and the public sector.

Duncan was a borough councillor for 18 years and also served on the County Council for eight years. During that time, he was Mayor of Cheltenham, leader of the Borough Council and is now an Alderman of Cheltenham.

He has held a wide range of charitable and community based roles including vice-chairman of Cheltenham Borough Homes, trustee and governor at Balcarras School, and governor of 2gether, the NHS Foundation Trust providing mental health services in Gloucestershire.

Jaki Meekings-Davis

Jaki is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant with extensive experience at Board level in the NHS, in Local Government and the water industry. Her expertise includes strategic planning, financial management, commissioning and governance.

In recent years she has undertaken a number of Non-Executive positions and is currently a Board member of the North Bristol NHS Trust and the local Friends of Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum.

A Lancastrian by birth, Jaki moved to Cheltenham almost twenty years ago in order to join her husband and family. She and they are keen supporters and users of “…all the good things that make Cheltenham such a great place to live and visit”. Through her Trusteeship of the Trust she hopes to play her part in sustaining and developing its services and extending its reach to all residents and visitors.

Paul Owen

Paul is an experienced board advisor and company director who has worked across a wide range of industries and sectors over the last two decades. Much of Paul’s career has been spent building and developing businesses, with particular areas of focus around customer development, product offering and routes to market both nationally and internationally.

Having lived in Cheltenham for almost 20 years, Paul moved from his home town of Sutton Coldfield to marry. Outside of his business interests, he has served in governor and trustee roles in education and the third sector whilst at the same time enjoying family life with Julia and their three daughters and also trying to make the most of the surrounding countryside on foot (with dog), in trainers and on mountain bike… whilst he still can.

Sian Morgan

Sian is an experienced business leader, strategic partnership manager and fundraiser who currently works for a leading local school. Sian has an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford and started as a management consultant for Arthur Andersen.  Sian subsequently worked for leading media companies including AOL, BT and Telewest, where she ran the internet service provider blueyonder and was also a managing director for Cheltenham Festivals, which uses many of the Trust’s venues.

Sian was educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and moved back to the area with her family 10 years ago, drawn by the vibrancy of Cheltenham, with its cultural and sporting opportunities.  She played international lacrosse at university, but her passion is skiing – however, she now spends a lot of time watching her children play rugby, cricket, athletics and many other sports.

Liz Narey

Liz is a senior executive at Babcock International who has worked extensively throughout the group for the last 24 years. An accountant with extensive commercial, financial and business development experience, as well as the raising of associated funding in both the project and corporate markets. She has sat on a number joint venture boards in defence, education and support services and hopes to bring her wide experience to the board to assist the Trust in serving the local community.

Liz is from the north of Scotland, initially settling in Cheltenham in 1986 before a spell on the south coast for seven years and then returning to Cheltenham 17 years ago.

Kate Peden

Kate has senior leadership experience in a wide range of contexts, spanning third sector to corporate, most recently as fundraising director at the National Trust.

Prior to this, Kate was joint managing director at SHM Productions Ltd, a London-based strategy and insight consultancy, where she was programme director for various government education, health and transport initiatives with a focus on service user involvement and participatory design.

Having read English at Cambridge, been a professional actor for 10 years and held a range of community and governance roles in the arts, education and heritage sectors over the years, Kate remains passionate about the arts and culture and is excited to be supporting all that the Cheltenham Trust has to offer.

Originally from Herefordshire, but then based in London for over 20 years, she made the move west again to work for the National Trust over five years ago. She is now happily settled in Cheltenham with her husband, daughter and a frequently recalcitrant labrador.

 

Sue Nelson

Sue is an experienced marketer and has held senior leadership positions for many years, working in both medium and large sized marketing agencies. Her experience spans developing database marketing operational teams, leading B2B business development teams and general business management.

When Sue is not working or volunteering, you will find her either on a yoga mat or on her road bike. Accomplished in neither but loving both, this reflects Sue’s favourite value – optimism.

Jeanette Young

Jeanette works in senior leadership roles in adults’ and children’s social care commissioning. She lives with her family in Cheltenham and takes a keen interest in local issues and activities.

Clive Rawlings

Clive was born in Cheltenham living in Bishops Cleeve in his formative years. He is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London practising public and administrative law for over 20 years. He is nationally recognised as a leading expert in education law having previously been a teacher and education officer. He advises and represents private individuals, companies, local and national government, voluntary sector organisations and charities. He has developed a particular expertise in promoting the rights of young people with disabilities and/or special educational needs.

Clive has held leadership positions for over 35 years including roles on the senior leadership team of schools, local authorities, chambers management teams, private companies, and voluntary organisations. He is presently active in the sport industry as director of 4 Corners Sports Management; arranging sporting opportunities for young boys and girls as the chairman of a large local youth football club in Hertfordshire; and is an advisory team member of private company The Leadership High.

Benjamin Averis

Ben is a chartered accountant and a Fellow of the ICAEW having trained with PWC in London. His early career was working in the lead advisory M&A team, helping clients with fundraising and buy and sell side transactions. His career since leaving practice has been working for consumer brands such as Wyevale and Audley Travel, often involved in strategy setting, long term financial planning, capital investment and fundraising. He has recently joined Yoto, a screen-free audio platform for kids, as CFO. The area Ben finds most interesting is communicating progress to all stakeholders including investors, employees and the wider community.

Ben has played tennis since he was young at various levels and qualified as a coach to lead junior tennis summer camps. He now enjoys competing at East Glos Tennis club and The Wimbledon Club when he gets a chance in London. Ben is always keen to venture out in the Forest of Dean on two wheels with his wife and two young boys.

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