The Board

Find out about Discover Ashfield's board members, dates of upcoming meetings, and minutes and agendas for past board meetings.

Martin Rigley OBE
Chair
Board lead for Succeed in Ashfield


Martin, an Ashfield resident, is a local business entrepreneur with special interests in innovation, engineering, manufacturing and business - passions he has held for over 40 years. He was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to Business and Innovation and in 2020 was listed in the Top 100 in The Manufacturer magazine.

Louise Knott
Vice Chair
Louise is vice principal at West Nottinghamshire College. She is passionate about Ashfield’s sense of community, beautiful open countryside, and its business "hidden gems": "We have some world beating business in the area that need shouting about much more."

Pete Edwards
Board lead for Be Healthy, Be Happy


Pete is the Chair of the Ashfield Health and Wellbeing Partnership, and has been involved in a sports development for years, working as a coach, tutor, assessor, classifier and access auditor. "I believe that nothing can stop us achieving what we want to achieve. I’ve studied hard, taken help when needed to, we all have abilities, and we all have a role in helping to develop those abilities and the people who have them."

Liz Barrett OBE
Board lead for Love Where You Live


Liz is the Principal of the Academy Transformation Trust Further Education, who was awarded an OBE in 2021 for services to education. "I am a local person who is committed on every level to supporting regeneration in and around Ashfield through life-long learning. I believe that it is important that as a community we support our local businesses and community events to ensure the area in which we live is as vibrant as possible."

Darron Ellis
Board lead for More to Discover


Darron is a historian and committed community advocate, who chairs the Sutton Living Memory Group. "I love Ashfield for its diversity, its passion and its heritage. We have so much to shout about in the area, places to visit, people to meet, and a population and organisations willing to engage and work together to enable our district to grow and evolve."

Callum Parr
Callum is a youth voice activist, a representative on the UK Youth Parliament Steering Group for the East Midlands, and chief executive officer of Albos UK, a youth-led mental health charity connecting young people aged 11-25 with decision makers.

Claire Ward
Claire is the Chair of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She was a member of Parliament between 1997 and 2010.

David Ainsworth
David is the director of strategy and partnerships at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. A qualified nurse, David is passionate about tackling health inequalities and putting patients at the heart of the healthcare sector. He has been involved in encouraging GP practices to find new ways to tackle health deprivation, including as locality director for the Mid-Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group. David describes himself as energetic, understanding and keen to listen to people’s views. He is an ambassador for Ashfield and feels proud of the work being done collectively.

Edward Johnstone
Edward is the assistant principal in charge of development at Portland College.
Before joining the college in 2016, Edward ran a series of small businesses specialising in disability support around the country. He is also a trustee of the Cornwater Evergreens charity, helping isolated older people. "Moving here from London I could not believe how friendly and helpful people are in the local shops and organisations."

Ella McManus
Ella is director of operations at Mansfield & Ashfield 2020, an organisation dedicated to raising the prospects and aspirations of the local area.

Fiona Anderson
Fiona is the associate director for Civic Engagement at Nottingham Trent University, and leads the university’s work with local authority partners across Nottinghamshire. In her role, Fiona manages NTU’s civic collaboration with the University of Nottingham under the 'Universities for Nottingham' banner. She has an MSc in Local and Regional Economic Development.

Gary Jordan MBE
Gary has held many business and charitable roles during his career, including co-founder and director of The Musketeers CIC, a trustee at John Eastwood Hospice, and Vice Chair of the North Notts Careers Hub. He received an MBE in 2021 for services to the economy and community of Ashfield and Mansfield, and is currently the chair of the Mansfield BID. "As a Discover Ashfield Board member, I feel there are many positive aspects to be gained from the hard work being done in the communities to make Ashfield a better place for residents, businesses and visitors."

Councillor Helen-Ann Smith
Helen-Ann is the deputy leader of Ashfield District Council. She has sat on the council since 2007, is the District Councillor for Stanton Hill and Teversal, and is the Portfolio Holder for community safety and crime reduction. 

Jean Sharpe
Jean is the Progressions Champion for Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire & Rutland from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Councillor Julie Gregory
Julie is the scrutiny representative for Ashfield District Council, and represents the Jacksdale and Westwood ward.

Julia Terry
Julia is a lead development worker for Transforming Notts Together, a charity which builds positive relationships with churches across Nottinghamshire to tackle injustice and inequality and help people break free from poverty and isolation. "I’m privileged to be representing the Faith Communities in Ashfield. I’m excited about the way we are all working together making Ashfield a great place to live life to the full."

Kathryn Stacey
Kathryn has been the chief executive of Citizens Advice Ashfield since 2014, leading a charity which helps solve thousands of problems a year including debt problems, welfare benefit issues and housing enquiries. She praised the "dedication, support and enthusiasm of the people who volunteer for us - they have a real desire to help people and fight injustice."

Councillor Keith Girling
Keith is a county councillor for Newark West and cabinet member for the Economic Development and Asset Management Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council.

Lorraine Palmer
Lorraine is a Programme Director at Mid Notts Place Based Partnership.

Lee Anderson MP
Lee was elected as MP for Ashfield in December 2019, and holds the post of Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party. "Ashfield has been the home and workplace to my family for over 150 years. The people of this great area are our best asset. The sense of community is second to none and as I travel and meet people around the district I feel incredibly proud to be their representative in Parliament."

Mark Spencer MP
Mark has been the Conservative MP for Sherwood since May 2010. In 2022, he was appointed as Minister of State in the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.

Councillor Matthew Relf
Matthew was elected to Ashfield District Council in 2018, representing the Sutton Junction and Harlow Wood. He is the portfolio holder for Growth, Regeneration, and Local Planning.

Peter Gaw
Peter is the chief executive officer of Inspire: Culture, Learning and Libraries, a Community Benefit Society established to deliver a range of cultural, arts, heritage, learning and library services for Nottinghamshire. "When I first came to work in Nottinghamshire, Ashfield was the first place I came to and got slightly lost in trying to attend a launch. The kindness and willingness of people to help a stranger find their way is always an indicator of a place, and on that day the people of Ashfield were exceptionally helpful and kind."

Simon Martin
Simon is a Vice Principal at the Academy Transformation Trust Further Education.

Teresa Jackson
Teresa is trustee at Ashfield Voluntary Action and served as the organisation’s chief executive between 2019 and 2023. "I have enjoyed working in the voluntary sector for many years and now can use my expertise to support the many Voluntary and Community groups across the Ashfield District. Ashfield Voluntary Action helps to provide a voice for the voluntary sector in many strategic meetings as well as providing direct delivery on various social inclusion and health programmes."

Tim Hepke
Tim is from ITP Aero, a world leading company in the aeronautical and industrial engines market.

Theresa Hodgkinson
Theresa became the chief executive of Ashfield District Council in 2021 after 15 years of working for the local authority. "I love being part of a wider team that makes a difference for the communities in Ashfield. Our stakeholders and partners work together and unify efforts to maximise the impact and I feel privileged to be part of this interesting and insightful journey."

Will Morlidge
Will is the chief executive of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership

Discover Ashfield celebrates all that is best about living, visiting, learning, working, and doing business in Ashfield.

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