Our Team

Ed Rowberry headshot

Edward Rowberry FCA, MBA, MCIOH, FRSA
Chief Executive

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

As founding Chief Executive of Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC), Ed focuses on organisational direction and delivery. He seeks to ensure that BBRC remains committed to serving local communities while retaining a commercial focus that a social enterprise like BBRC requires.

Ed is also Strategic Advisor to the Bristol City Office (www.bristolonecity.com), represents BBRC as a member of the Governing Board of City Funds (www.bristolcityfunds.co.uk), and is co-opted to the Board of Black South West Network (www.blacksouthwestnetwork.org).

Abby Scarborough

Laura Barrow
Finance Director

“To create real and lasting impact we must transform traditional approaches to finance – purpose and profit are not mutually exclusive.”

Laura is accountable for the financial and operational leadership of BBRC, enabling efficient and effective delivery of its ambitious plans for investment and housing in the region. She is a Chartered Accountant with a background in financial services, from working in start-ups to the UK’s largest building society. Laura is passionate about making a difference through business models that are truly sustainable commercially, socially, and environmentally. She is also a Trustee of Bristol Hospitality Network, which works alongside destitute asylum seekers.

Abby Scarborough

Jari Moate
Investment Director

“Until the day arrives when all enterprises place social impact front and foremost in their strategies, and deliver goods and services with regard to the true costs of doing the right thing, there is a role for targeting and fostering those organisations who can already see that future and who do business as if it is here, today. Investment is a tool to make that happen.”

Jari’s role within BBRC is dedicated to ensuring that organisations with a social mission find the right investment suited for their needs. As Investment Manager for City Funds, he is tasked with distributing a £10million pot of funding to reduce inequality throughout Bristol. Jari is also a writer and has published three books. His passion for writing has led to a massive contribution to Bristol’s history as he is the founder and Chair of Bristol Festival of Literature.

Richie Miller
Development Director

“I believe that owning your own Home can you give you the freedom to live how you want and pursue your dream life. I believe in high-impact housing schemes that create community and that are highly sustainable.”

Richie leads BBRC Homes, which aims to become a leading developer and financier of homes in the Bristol and Bath area. Richie joined BBRC Homes after a 14-year career in the military where he was a Major in the Royal Logistics Corps. He has built up his own property portfolio which includes a 48-bed co-living tower block. Richie is passionate about making a difference to where and how people live and believes an inclusive local community is the cornerstone to driving regional success.

Abby Scarborough

Ryan Munn
Investment Business Development Manager

“Good business is good business. Entrepreneurs that can create social and environmental value that benefits the community will be the business leaders of tomorrow.”

Ryan is committed to people-centred business. With 20 years’ experience in developing purpose-driven relationships, Ryan helps social entrepreneurs in the West of England find the finance they need to grow and succeed. Having worked for multi-billion pound ethical banks in Canada and Europe, Ryan knows that finance can be a powerful tool that benefits people and communities, and creating the conditions for a healthy local economy.

Abby Scarborough

Beth Flood-Fairlamb
Operations Executive

“I believe confronting climate change and social inequality at the local level is key to driving forward change at all levels, from local to regional to global. BBRC is doing just that by using a place-based and collaborative social investment approach, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Beth holds a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature and recently completed an MSc in Public Policy at the University of Bristol. She has a particular interest in local-level government and community actions to tackle climate change and inter-related issues like housing and social inequality. She has been driven to pursue this interest professionally through her role at BBRC, in which she manages and supports business operations including Human Resources, legal and regulatory administration, and project support and research.

Abby Scarborough

Bill Marshall
Non-executive Chair of BBRC Homes

“I am delighted to be able to give my knowledge and experience of the West of England to such a worthy cause as BBRC. In particular I am keen to see delivery of hundreds of new homes in the coming years. In particular providing them in areas where intervention is needed to accelerate delivery and make a positive community and social impact.”

Bill is responsible for developing and accelerating BBRC’s strategy and plans in respect of housing. He has considerable experience of construction projects having successfully delivered the £300m campus redevelopment plan for the University of the West of England. At UWE he was commercial director for 5 years which included selling surplus land (for housing) and acquiring strategic land and buildings. Prior to that, he was UWE’s first Director of Finance from 1992 until 2012. In honour of his achievements Bill was awarded the honorary position of Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus.

Our Board

Our Board is made up of Executive and Non-Executive Directors. The Board acts as the main decision-making body for BBRC.

Abby Scarborough

Dr Richard Pendlebury MBE DL
Chair, Non-executive Director

“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, Non-executive Director

“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 a Past Master (2015-2016) of the Society of Merchant Venturers.

Ed Rowberry
Executive Director

Please see ‘Our Staff Team’ above for full profile.

Laura Barrow
Executive Director

Please see ‘Our Staff Team’ above for full profile.

Abby Scarborough

Dr Rob Brown
Non-executive Director

“My focus is on supporting social enterprises, public sector mutuals and overseas development projects.”

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).

Abby Scarborough

Ruth Foreman
Head of Finance & Governance, Non-executive Director

“One of the key dynamics in improving the well-being 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 was an Advisory Partner at Baker Tilly. She 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. 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

Nick Houghton-Brown
Head of Project Development, Non-executive Director

“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), with 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

Kalpna Woolf
Non-executive Director

“My mission and objectives align with BBRC, and my energy and involvement with BBRC can catalyse a real and long-term shift in our city bringing greater equality through commercial and financial investment.”

Kalpna is a business leader with senior board experience, as well as running her own media business, operating a social enterprise with a track-record of driving real change in the heart of communities. She is a major influencer for change in our city, both at board level and at grassroots level.

Following an award-winning career in the BBC, leaving as Head of Production overseeing a £100m global business including the BBC’s jewel-in the-crown, the Natural History Unit, she works extensively with the creative sector and is currently Head of Production at HungryGap TV Productions. Alongside this, she is CEO of BeOnBoard – supporting businesses to deliver diversity on their boards and governance structures.

She has held positions on business and charity boards including Chair of Trustees for Frank Water, trustee for Knowle West Media Centre and business advisor and Chair of the Skills Group to the West of England LEP Board. She is a Visiting Professor for the University of the West Of England – Faculty of Business and Law.

In 2015, she founded 91 Ways to Build A Global City – an initiative which reaches out to all the 91 language communities in Bristol to bring greater understanding, break down barriers and build a more cohesive city. Three years on, they have connected over 10,000 people, run 102 events and won four national awards (including BBC’s Food and Farming award, Guild of Food Writers and MTM Woman of the Year award).

Mick Axtell

Jason Smerdon 
Non-executive Director

“I have always enjoyed working in an environment where the drive and commitment to make life better for the most disadvantaged in our society is plain to see. I look forward to making a positive contribution to the work of BBRC.”

Jason is Group Finance Director at the University of Bristol where he is responsible for the back-office finance operations activities, including all financial and regulatory reporting. Prior to joining the University, he worked for 6 years at DNV GL (formerly GL Garrad Hassan) as Finance Director responsible for its global renewables consultancy business and, latterly, for the Group’s wider consultancy businesses (including maritime, oil and gas, business assurance) in the UK, Ireland and Sub Saharan Region.

Jason has held senior finance roles at the BBC, Orange and Capita in addition to Finance Director roles at growing and acquisitive SMEs. Before joining the BBC right at the start of his professional career, he worked as Financial Controller for the housing charity, Shelter. A chartered accountant, Jason is a History graduate from Durham University.

Counciller Craig Cheney

Rachel Tonkin
Company Secretary, on behalf of VWV

“VWV is committed to supporting social enterprises in the region to bring about positive and sustainable change for the good of our communities”.

Rachel is a senior associate in the charities and not for profit team at VWV LLP. She has worked with a wide range of social enterprises in Bristol and elsewhere and recognises their critical importance to our society and to the future of business. Rachel has a particular interest in social investment and supported the Law Commission in its review of Social Investment by Charities.

Our Advisory Council

Representing our individual and organisational Members from across the public, private and VCSE sectors, the Advisory Council acts as a key contributor to BBRC’s strategic direction. It ensures BBRC remains connected to the communities we serve and that we continue to serve the region’s priorities effectively. 

Counciller Craig Cheney

Ellen Powley
Chair, Independent Member

“I strongly believe in supporting social, economic and environmental initiatives in our region, enhancing prospects for the next generation”.

Ellen holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Economics from the University of Birmingham and has worked since March 2003 for Hargreaves Lansdown, a FTSE 100 company based in Bristol.  As a Senior Fund Manager, she is part of a team responsible for managing billions of clients’ investments through their range of Multi-Manager funds.  In 2018, Ellen was highly commended as Investment Woman of the Year at the Women in Investment awards.


Dr Rob Brown
Foundation Member representative for the John Pontin Trust

Please see ‘Our Board’ above for full profile.

Counciller Craig Cheney

Councillor Craig Cheney
Foundation Member representative for Bristol City Council

“My background is in the financial sector and I have enjoyed being a councillor since 2015.”

Craig is the Deputy Mayor of Bristol, councillor for Hillfields and is a member of the Mayor’s cabinet with executive responsibility for Finance, Governance and Performance at Bristol City Council. He has responsibility for Bristol’s property assets, current project deliveries totalling over £100m, a capital program of over £900m and sits as the shareholder of Bristol City Council’s companies.

Craig is a director of the Bristol Museums Development Trust, a trustee of Hillfields Community Trust, a trustee of Barton Fields Trust and a founder of Hillfields Community Network.

Abby Scarborough

James Durie
Foundation Member representative for Business West

“My 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.”

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.

Abby Scarborough

William Liew
Foundation Member representative for The University of the West of England (UWE)

“Strong financial strategy is a cornerstone of success. I am pleased to play a part in the continuing journey of BBRC to deliver social and environment prosperity in the region, a mission very much aligned to the UWE Bristol Strategy 2030.”

William is the Chief Financial Officer at UWE, whose responsibilities included directing the financial strategic direction of the University and achieving sustainability through strong leadership and sound governance.

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, William holds numerous other directorships and non-executive appointments including Committee Member of the Avon Pension Fund, and serves on the Boards of a number of local community and charity organisations.

Counciller Craig Cheney

Andy Salmon
Foundation Member representative for Bath Spa University

“My background and passion is innovation of the increasingly creative and varied interface between Higher Education and businesses. Until moving to Bath two years ago I have spent thirty years in the South East, and so I have had the recent pleasure of discovering what a richly collaborative region the South West is; I am delighted to be on the Board and hope to make a positive contribution, particularly around the economic case for inclusion.”

Andy’s specialism is the establishment of productive centres for research and innovation. Since gaining a PhD in Modernist Literature, Andy has set out to make a direct difference to students’ lives, teaching the “hard to reach” in further and higher education in the UK and the USA.

Prior to his current role, he was Deputy Dean for Partnerships and Enterprise in the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, where he increased external income until it was in the top 25% for UK Humanities Faculties. Andy also established a Northern European applied digital creative incubation network, which, in partnership with SONY, Jagex, and ARM, developed the EU’s largest live student games jam (Brains Eden) and launched a £1m European Regional Development funded applied gaming project, REACTOR, across medical technology, health, well-being, and SMART cities.

Since assuming his post at Bath Spa, Andy has focussed on co-creating the College of Liberal Arts as a leading example of innovation in applied arts, humanities, and social sciences. He has been greatly encouraged since arriving by the quality of colleagues, students, and the wider Bath Spa community, as well as the significant potential of the region in all manner of creative practice and research.

Robert Kerse
Foundation Member representative for the University of Bristol

Robert is Chief Operating Officer at the University of Bristol. He has a background in the social housing sector, where he held Executive level roles in both Bristol and London for 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.

Dr Andrew Garrad CBE FREng
Foundation Member representative for The Society of Merchant Venturers

“BBRC’s agenda is very similar to my own – creating businesses and organisations which are commercial, worthwhile and sustainable in and around Bristol. That’s what I tried to do at the renewable energy consultancy I founded (Garrad Hassan) for forty years! Now that I have retired from that endeavour, I am very pleased to be able to help support a similar mission with BBRC.”

Andrew is an engineer and business person. He built his first wind turbine in 1971 and has spent his whole professional life working in renewable energy. He lives just outside Bristol, in Long Ashton, where his family has been for the last 100 years. He founded and ran the world’s largest renewable energy consultancy (Garrad Hassan, now DNV-GL) which was based in Bristol, but had offices in 30 countries around the world. He is a past President of the European Wind Energy Association and the British Wind Energy Association.

He is now officially retired, but is still commercially active in the renewable energy field, as well as being a Visiting Professor of Renewable Energy at Bristol University. In 2015 he was Chair of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of New College, Oxford.

Abby Scarborough

Simon Cooper
Independent Member

“BBRC is a key new component in the structures which bring investment to the communities that need it.”

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 four 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 nine years he was chair of the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol. He now sits on the board of We the Curious, the hands-on science centre; is a board member of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative; and a Trustee of MusicSpace, the music therapy charity. Simon was a founder of The Hub, a social enterprise workspace in Bristol. He also serves as a Governor at Oldfield Park Junior School in Bath and at Venturers’ Academy in Bristol.

Counciller Craig Cheney

Councillor Geoff Gollop OBE
Independent Member

“I firmly believe that Social Investment can provide the most effective long term benefits for those who most need them”

Geoff Gollop is a Chartered Accountant based in Bristol, advising owner-managed businesses and individuals. He was a partner in a national firm for 18 years, before going on to run his own practice. He has served as a Bristol City Councillor representing Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze since 2001. Geoff has also served as Lord Mayor, 2011-12, Deputy to the elected Mayor 2012-16 and has chaired the Council’s main Scrutiny Committee 2016 to date. A past President of the West of England Chartered Accountants, Geoff is also a director and trustee of a number of local organisations including We The Curious, John Wesley’s New Room, Friends of the Lord Mayors Chapel Trust and Bristol and Bath Regional Capital.


Jos Moule
Ordinary Member representative for VWV

Jos is a partner in the corporate department of VWV LLP, a firm recognised nationally for its expertise in the third sector. He has particular expertise in advising social enterprises and not-for-profit companies. He is also a trustee and the current chair of the Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Foundation and a former board member of the Bristol Old Vic and Theatre Royal Trust.