Vision & Objectives

Our vision is to provide civic-led, commercially focused and innovative investment solutions that catalyse regional change. The ambition of Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC) is to become a significant and commercially sustainable driving force in the development of the region, catalysing regional change through civic-led, commercially-focused and innovative investment.

Our mission is to facilitate civic engagement and collaboration to enhance the social, environmental and economic fabric of the West of England by:

Creating and maintaining a broad and effective civic partnership

Connecting local and external investors with commercial and innovative opportunities that provide both financial and social returns

Offering expert advice and access to civic-led, loan-based finance to commercially viable projects and enterprises

Our Story

BBRC is fortunate to be supported by a number of organisations that share our pioneering vision and approach. We were founded with support from Bristol City Council, Business West, John Pontin of the Bristol Bond project, The Society of Merchant Venturers, Voscur and many third sector groups. This diverse group of local stakeholders have come together to assist local projects to get off the ground by helping them find sources of finance where they would otherwise struggle.

To do this, BBRC identifies and facilitates sources of finance within our region, while also helping local citizens to raise finance, enriching the stake they hold in their own community. With local investors supporting local projects, and in many cases also becoming the customers of those projects, everyone gains from this virtuous cycle.

We invite you to get involved with BBRC and the projects we work with. Read more about our latest project, South Bristol Sports Centre. 

Meet the Team

Edward Rowberry FCA, MBA, MCIOH, FRSA
Chief Executive

“Investment is a powerful tool for social change and positive social impact”

Originally trained as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG, I have over fifteen years combined experience in the commercial property, financial services and affordable housing sectors including the management of FCA regulated commercial property funds. As Chief Executive, I focus on strategy and delivery, working with each of the committee chairs as well as seeking to develop and deliver commercially viable solutions to social, environmental and economic problems.

Abby Scarborough

Abby Scarborough
Community Innovation Fund Co-ordinator

“Entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool to combat multiple disadvantage and I want to see it harnessed in the marginalised communities of Bristol & Bath”.

As the Community Innovation Fund Co-ordinator, I am responsible for ensuring that entrepreneurs have to access the finance and business support that they need to start and grow their own businesses, whilst also building the relationships that can support this vision.

Over the past two years I have worked to increase the awareness and use of entrepreneurship as a tool for social change. What started out as an idea when I was a student at the University of Bristol, has since been developed through my experiences as a researcher, an enterprise facilitator and most recently as an operations manager within a start-up. In this time I have learnt that supporting communities through enterprise starts at helping individuals to turn their ideas into a reality, and I look forward to achieving this through my role at BBRC.

Abby Scarborough

Seanique Reuben
Communications & Administration Officer

Abby Scarborough

Professor Martin Boddy
Head of Strategy & Innovation Committee

Abby Scarborough

Nick Houghton-Brown
Head of Project Development

“I am keen to raise finance for great social value projects, making the Bristol and Bath region the best place to work and live in the UK.”

Nick is a qualified chartered accountant (ICAEW), who has had a successful career in management consultancy and other service industries. His consulting experience includes several years as a partner at E&Y before setting up his own consulting business, focusing on advising the UK banking sector. He has experience of setting up and raising finance for two start-up service companies, as well as advising clients on business disposal programmes. He has also worked in interim Finance and Sales Director roles. Nick’s skills include business strategy, sales strategy, operational improvement, cost efficiency and business/IT change, as well as working with the credit functions of Tier 1 and Tier 2 banks.

Abby Scarborough

Ruth Foreman
Head of Finance & Governance

“One of the key dynamics in improving the wellbeing of all who live in our community is the building of sustainable social enterprises and community infrastructure; BBRC is fundamental to delivering this and I am delighted to be involved through its evolution.”

Until recently Ruth Foreman was an Advisory Partner at Baker Tilly. Ruth now continues to use her skills working with SMEs to support the owners and directors in achieving their aspirations over both the short and long term. This role requires sufficient knowledge of taxation and accounting to ensure that any implications arising from the planning work are anticipated and addressed. The role involves managing the relationships between all stakeholders and the business entity. Ruth was also a member of Baker Tilly’s Social Impact Services team, who work with a variety of social enterprises across all sectors: health, education, leisure, property, justice and youth, assessing, monitoring and reporting on the social value being delivered from their activities.

Other current roles include Member of Council, Chair of Audit Committee and Member of School of Management Advisory Board for Bath University, Trustee of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and voluntary work for Children’s Hospice South West.

Abby Scarborough

Simon Cooper
Head of Communications

Managing Director at Quidem Productions and a partner at research and consulting firm Change Agency, Simon combines working with sustainability initiatives with independent film and radio production. Quidem has broadcast 4 commissions on BBC Radio 2, most recently on mental health. Quidem also co-produces stage-to-cinema-screen transfers, including Maxine Peake’s Hamlet from the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and The Railway Children from the National Railway Museum in York.

Simon spent 25 years as a broadcaster and senior radio executive, including periods as HR Director and Communications Director at Classic FM and GWR Group, now Global Radio.

For 9 years he was chair of the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol. He now sits on the board of At-Bristol the hands-on science centre, the board of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative, and is a Trustee of MusicSpace, the music therapy charity. He was one of the founders of The Hub, a social enterprise workspace in Bristol.

He serves as a Governor at Oldfield Park Junior School in Bath and at Venturers’ Academy in Bristol. He sees BBRC as a key new component in the structures which bring investment to the communities that need it.

Abby Scarborough

Ted Fowler
Strategy & Research

“We provide the unique facility of engaging local people, businesses and institutions, as productive investors, to achieve the long-term changes needed for our city region”

Ted Fowler is a place-based practitioner in social and civic enterprise, playing a significant role in setting up Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, and continuing to support its strategic development in the regional, national commercial and civic contexts. He developed and led Bristol City Council’s social and small business development programmes: developing partnerships to improve the range, depth and quality of performance. Ted has also played a leading role in developing the Bristol Regeneration Partnership, VOSCUR, Bristol Community Transport and various economic, community development and education initiatives: all of which aim to maximise productive local engagement in making our city a better place to live and work.

Ted has made substantial professional contributions to national and EU policy and best practice on business support and investment, economic inclusion, procurement, social value, incubation and asset transfer. Ted is Chair of the Regional Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts and an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism.

Abby Scarborough

Sam Gillett
Funding and Impact Manager

Sam has been working in the charity sector for 10 years, he now manages St John’s £2 million funding programme supporting charities and individuals in Bath and the surrounding area. Sam was born in Bath and after working in London for 10 years is very keen to make a difference to the communities he grew up in and around. Previously Sam managed a network of thousands of volunteers supporting charities across the UK with their communications needs for national charity Media Trust.

Abby Scarborough

Ellie Cheetham
Operations Manager

Ellie joined BBRC in April 2018, having previously worked in the commercial property sector. Her role as Operations Manager is to ensure that everything runs efficiently and that the right procedures are in place to support our business activities and the BBRC team.

“One of my main drives is supporting communities and helping people to stay connected to their local area”

Abby Scarborough

Colin Barns
Housing Specialist

Colin is a housing professional with over 10 years experience in new build, regeneration and refurbishment projects for local authorities and housing associations. Most recently Colin was a development manager for the 2,500 home Merton estate regeneration programme, after several years working with local communities in Camden to identify, plan and deliver new affordable and private housing to fund improvements to existing estates and community facilities. Colin has a passion for community led housing initiatives and is keen to ensure projects are financially viable, whilst at the same time maximising social value to the community.

Abby Scarborough

Sue Cooper
Head of Credit

Sue specialises in working with charities and social enterprises and is passionate about the difference these organisations can make, both in local communities and in society as a whole. Her business skills and knowledge come from a career in banking. For the past 18 years she has worked with charities and social enterprises for Triodos Bank UK and as CEO of a similar regulated finance organisation in New Zealand. Returning to the UK she set up a new social investment programme for an endowed charitable foundation. Sue is based in Bristol and works as a consultant and non-executive director.

Abby Scarborough

Professor Kate Pullinger
Director for Bath Spa University

Kate Pullinger is Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University, where she is Director of the new university-wide strategic Centre for Research in Cultural and Creative Industries. Professor Pullinger focusses on drawing together the considerable expertise in the cultural and creative industries across the university, including both research and enterprise, working with a range of external partners. A novelist who works across print and digital, Kate’s novel The Mistress of Nothing won Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction and her 2014 project Letter to an Unknown Soldier, a digital war memorial commissioned to mark the centenary of the outbreak of WW1, received more than 22,000 letters from the public

Supervisory Board Directors

Abby Scarborough

Dr Richard Pendlebury MBE DL

“My motivation for being involved in BBRC is to make a difference to people who are most disadvantaged in our region, particularly those who are struggling with housing issues and unemployment.”

Richard has been involved in the charitable / social enterprise sector at trustee and senior management level for over 25 years. As a social entrepreneur he has been instrumental in the creation and establishment of a number of charities and social enterprises that make a difference to people who find themselves marginalised and disadvantaged. Richard is Chief Executive of The Anchor Society, Chair of Voscur and patron of a number of charities in the Bristol area. In 2010, Richard was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol.

Abby Scarborough

Tim Ross
Vice – Chair

“I firmly believe that applying business skills to social needs is an efficient and cost-effective means of achieving positive outcomes.”

Tim Ross qualified as a solicitor working in the City of London and as a company legal adviser before attending London Business School and moving into general management. He has considerable experience of the construction, building materials, mining and related sectors. Previously a Main Board Director of George Wimpey and other public companies, he recently retired as Chairman of Hargreaves Services plc but remains involved with a number of private and venture capital-backed companies. He is a past Governor of Bristol University, President of the Dolphin Society and Trustee of Quartet Community Foundation and he was Chairman of Council at Clifton College until 2014. Tim is currently Master (Chairman) of the Society of Merchant Venturers 2015-16.

Abby Scarborough

James Durie
CEO, Business West

James is the Director of Chamber of Commerce and Initiative activity at Business West. As one of the most influential business leadership organisations in the UK, Business West is the leading provider of business and export solutions in the South West of England. Targeted to launch and grow successful world-class businesses, it provides advice and support in starting a business, growing a business, developing skills and in trading internationally; representing, connecting and working with around 18,000 diverse businesses across the region.

James leads all Chamber of Commerce and Initiative activity in Bristol. His role is to raise the profile of the Chamber and Initiative, retain and recruit new members and through a range of business support and services offered by the Chamber, help local businesses to prosper and grow.

Abby Scarborough

Bill Marshall
Pro Vice-Chancellor, UWE

Bill is Pro Vice-Chancellor: Commercial Director and Corporation Secretary for the University of West of England and is responsible for the delivery of a capital programme (£300m) and its funding from borrowing and capital disposals.

Bill is an experienced Financial practitioner with experience of all aspects of major capital projects including tax planning; financing (arranged loans worth over £100m +); leasing £60m +; project management of major building projects; the largest £30m and £60m; project managing / leading IT finance system projects (three in total the largest £20m), financial planning, charity fund raising over £5m.

Abby Scarborough

Sue Porto
CEO, St John’s Foundation

Sue worked for the civil service including 16 years for HM Prison Service which sparked her interest in offenders’ rehabilitation and led to her position as Head of National Training and Clinical Support where she lead accredited offending behaviour programmes. In 2007 Sue became Director of the Prince’s Trust South West operations, encouraging and empowering young people through various programmes. In 2010 she became Chief Executive of Beanstalk, the national children’s literacy charity. Sue is currently Chief Executive Officer at St John’s Foundation, one of Bath’s oldest philanthropic institutions which makes grants and social investment loans to local charities and organisations.

Abby Scarborough

Hannah Sturman
Deputy Head of Mayor’s Office, Bristol City Council

Hannah is the Deputy Head of the Mayor’s Office, which means working as the Mayor’s right hand woman. She comes from a physical and social regeneration background, previously running her own consultancy. During this role, Hannah had clients in the public and private sector before moving in to a project role with a public sector client delivering town centre regeneration, community assets and master-planning for housing and green space.

In her current role, Hannah has oversight of the Mayor’s priorities and Bristol City Council’s delivery and is able to provide an evidence base and strategic view around city-wide need.

Abby Scarborough

Rob Brown
Public Benefit Consultant and Researcher, John Pontin Trust

Rob’s experience is in the leadership and delivery of public service reform, with a career that spans social enterprise and local government as well as latterly 13 years as a senior partner in the Government practice of PA Consulting Group. Rob has taken early retirement from PA to develop a portfolio of interests around innovative approaches to creating better public outcomes, and has helped to develop the BBRC model of local resilience and cooperation from the outset.

Other projects Rob is pursuing include part-time doctoral research into the nature of trust between the citizen and state, and working as a Director of the Near East Foundation (UK), a long established charity which specialises in empowering the vulnerable through practical economic development projects. Rob also continues to work as a part-time independent consultant (and associate of PA) with a focus on supporting social enterprises, public sector mutuals and overseas development projects.

Abby Scarborough

Robert Kerse
CFO, University of Bristol

Robert is the University of Bristol’s Chief Financial Officer, having previously worked in the social housing sector where he has held Executive level roles in both Bristol and London over the last 13 years. His previous role was as Executive Director (Resources) at Circle Housing, one of England’s largest housing groups with over 300,000 customers and 70,000 properties with a combined market value in excess of £11bn. Robert was responsible for Circle’s Finance, HR, IT, Procurement and Office Facilities. He started his career training as a Chartered Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Bristol, after being educated at the University of Cambridge

Abby Scarborough

Professor Kate Pullinger
Director for Bath Spa University

Kate Pullinger is Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University, where she is Director of the new university-wide strategic Centre for Research in Cultural and Creative Industries. Professor Pullinger focusses on drawing together the considerable expertise in the cultural and creative industries across the university, including both research and enterprise, working with a range of external partners. A novelist who works across print and digital, Kate’s novel The Mistress of Nothing won Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction and her 2014 project Letter to an Unknown Soldier, a digital war memorial commissioned to mark the centenary of the outbreak of WW1, received more than 22,000 letters from the public


We believe that BBRC has a unique appeal derived from its invaluable public/private/community partnership. Creating this alliance means that we can represent and reach out to all parts of the region, and in turn be trusted by local citizens to work in the best interests of all our communities. The structure combines wide collaboration with commercial rigour in order to enable effective delivery of the vision. Membership is comprised of Foundation Members and Ordinary Members. We are owned and supported by the following organisations:

We are looking to be fully representative of the West of England. Please contact us to find out how you can be part of our collaborative and civic-led community.