Meet our team

New Forest Business Partnershp has recently converted to a Community Interest Company. A board of six directors lead the day to day operation of the Partnership. The direction and strategy of the Partnership is set by an Advisory Group consisting of the board plus 24 representatives of New Forest businesses, local goverment, and colleges.

The Board


Matthew Lawson

Business: Escape Yachting & Thatched Cottage Hotel

Sector: Marine & Tourism

Matthew's top-rated and award winning yacht charter business operates from Lymington with day trips on the Solent and worldwide sailing holidays. He also owns the Thatched Cottage Hotel, Tea Room & Gin Bar in Brockenhurst.


Rob Dewing
Partnerships Director

Business: Northerwood Systems

Organisation: Federation of Small Businesses

Sector: Web and IT

Area: Lyndhurst

Rob runs a business in Lyndhurst building and maintaining websites for local businesses. He is active in business lobbying as the Chair of the South Central Region of the Federation of Small Businesses.


Vicky Ryce
Communications Director

Business: Let's Talk Communications

Sector: Marketing and Communications

Based in Sway, Vicky has 20+ years communications and international marketing experience. She now runs her own company, Let’s Talk Communications, and works with a range of businesses helping them to understand and communicate with their audiences. She is a Parish Councillor in Sway and Communications Director for the NFBP.


David Lawrence
Compliance Director

Sector: Legal
Business: Eric Robinson Solicitors

Senior Partner, David manages Eric Robinson's Lymington office, specialising in many aspects of litigation, conveyancing, wills, estates and is also the firm's Compliance Officer. David is an advocate in the firm’s Criminal Dept, a Solicitor-Advocate, a member of the Criminal Litigation Scheme and a Police and Court Duty Solicitor.


Sandeep Sesodia
Finance Director

Business: MGPS Commercial
Sector: Financial Services

Sandeep has 35 years’ experience in Banking and Finance including NatWest and The Royal Bank of Scotland. His key focus is to assist businesses to develop and grow and to achieve their goals. Sandeep is a Non-Executive Director (Partnerships Portfolio), Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Chairman, Southampton Connect.


Paul Sherry
Investment Director

Organisation: 49
Sector: Innovation
Prior to running his own businesses and holding blue-chip corporate sales and marketing roles, Paul gathered extensive experience as a trader on the Futures Exchange in the City of London. Since moving to the New Forest, Paul has become more involved in the third sector and founded 49, the business-led open innovation centre. He has created and delivered a pilot programme for children “at risk” of exclusion in the New Forest and is on the Board of Go New Forest.

Advisory Panel

The Advisory Panel meets bimonthly and brings a wide range of business and local government partners together to discuss the needs of the local economy and set the direction for NFBP.


Hannah Avoth

Organisation: Totton College
Sector: Education & Apprenticeships

Hannah is the Vice Principal and Campus Lead at Totton College, a technical/vocational centre offering programmes for 14-16 and adults across a wide spectrum of courses and apprenticeships.


Jane Porter

Business: Bartley Marketing &
Area: Lymington

Jane’s consultancy and agency Bartley Marketing provides the full range of digital and traditional marketing services and PR, combining strategic planning with hands-on implementation. BM’s online hub promotes local businesses via on page advertising and its highly regarded direct and social media channels.


Andrea McCallum

Organisation: Hampshire County Council

Andrea is Manager for Enterprise & SME Growth at HCC, having worked in economic development across the South East. Andrea’s role is supporting businesses growth in the area and business looking to locate in Hants. Working with Solent and Enterprise M3 LEPs to establish their Business Support and Growth Hubs to provide services to SMEs.


Matt Callaghan

Organisation: New Forest District Council

Matt is responsible for local business growth, initiatives to improve workforce skills and encourage appropriate economic investment. This is achieved through close partnership working with organisations including but not limited to Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, Job Centre Plus and Enterprise South.


David Simpson

Business: Simpson Hilder Associates
Sector: Housing, Planning & Development

Based in Lyndhurst and Lymington, Simpson Hilder Associates are a multi-disciplinary architectural and surveying practice. David and his team are involved in a number of projects and schemes in around the New Forest including the Ampress Park development, Gordleton Industrial Estate, as well as the marine and housing sectors. The practice also works nationally in the healthcare and educational sectors.


Simon Bennett

Organisation: YOU Digital
Sector: Marketing and Creative

Simon leads the wonderful YOU Digital team, a ferociously passionate digital development agency, based in Southampton and London. They design and develop, unique and engaging websites, apps and digital solutions and brand identities, thought-provoking business collateral and inspiring communication strategies.


James Hiley-Jones

Organisation: Carey's Manor & The Montagu Arms
Sector: Hospitality
Area: Central Forest (Burley, Brockenhurst, Beaulieu)

Managing Director of Greenclose Hotels which includes Careys Manor and The Montagu Arms, with a long standing career in the hotel management business and the New Forest, James is passionate about the Forest and offers a wealth of experience of the hospitality industry. When not at work James enjoys cycling and time on the Solent.


Suna King

Organisation: New Milton Town Council

Suna’s broad expertise and knowledge in marketing and communications comes from wide-ranging roles in marketing agencies as well as organisations including Samsung Electronics and the Wilton Carpet Factory. She is Town Development Manager at New Milton Town Council, co-ordinating the Neighbourhood Plan, with a focus on the regeneration of the town centre and enabling a digital economy.

Cllr Keith Mans

Organisation: Hampshire County Council

Keith is a former RAF pilot who spent 10 years working for the John Lewis Partnership after leaving the RAF. He was elected MP for Wyre in Lancashire in 1987 and was PPS to the Secretary of State for Health as well as being a member of both the Defence and the Environment Select Committees. After leaving Parliament in 1997, Keith was CEO of the Royal Aeronautical Society until his retirement in 2009. Keith is County Councillor for Brockenhurst, Leader of Hampshire County Council and on the Board of Enterprise M3 and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnerships.


Di Roberts CBE

Organisation: Brockenhurst College
Sector: Education & Apprenticeships

Di has been Principal and Chief Executive of Brockenhurst College since 2006. With a staff of 700, the College provides education and training to 2,500 full-time 16-18 year olds studying A-levels and vocational qualifications; 700 apprentices and 7,500 mainly part-time adults. With sites across the New Forest, the College works with over 300 local businesses. Di has significant experience in education, training and business, including as an Ofsted Inspector.


Stu Baker

Organisation: Solent Local Enterprise Partnership


Adie Callaghan

Organisation: Appetite For Adventure
Sector: Food & Drink

Adie runs the New Forest Hamper Company, promoting a wealth of local food and drink producers across the New Forest and Hampshire. Adie worked in high level corporate marketing and communications for many years, with links to hospitality and retail. Adie is fiercely passionate about “supporting local” and strives to raise the profile of the New Forest across the Food and Drink sector.raise the profile of the New Forest and all it has to offer across the Food and Drink sector


Peter Armstrong

Business: Bespoke Funeral Ceremonies  

Peter runs Bespoke Funeral Ceremonies which offers personalised and meaningful funeral ceremonies. He has been involved in the management of cemeteries in local government. He has experience of public speaking in the UK and abroad and has served on various charities. Representing the Waterside, Peter connects local businesses to the opportunities available through NFBP


Paul Walton

Organisation: New Forest National Park Authority
Sector: Environment & Rural Economy

Paul leads the NPA’s work in conserving the National Park and fostering a healthy economy to sustain the Park’s unique qualities. He previously worked in Cornwall for the National Trust and as the manager of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Paul has a Master's degree in Town and Country Planning.


Sophy Robinson

Organisation: Forest Forge
Sector: Environment & Rural Economy

Sophy’s varied career includes coaching business leaders, entrepreneurs, global corporations and the public sector. Sophy volunteers for Dorset Business Mentors and Rethink Mental Illness. Based on a grassland farm near Fordingbridge, she is interested in the sustainable management of land, forestry and historic farm buildings.


Leon Course

Organisation: Solent Apprenticeship Hub
Sector: Apprenticeship Advisor and Operational Manager

The Solent Apprenticeship HUB is an ESFA funded project created to support business’ across the Solent Area with apprenticeships.


Cllr Barry Rickman

Organisation: New Forest District Council

Barry is Leader of New Forest District Council. Representing the Boldre and Sway Ward, Barry has run a photography business in the New Forest for 40 years and has been involved in local government for over 35 years.


Bob Jackson

Organisation: New Forest District Council

Bob is Chief Executive of New Forest District Council and, along with his Executive Management Team, is responsible for delivering the Council’s Corporate Plan. Priorities within this include ‘Helping local business grow’.


Cllr Michael Harris

Organisation: New Forest District Council
Sector: Local Economic Development, Property and Innovation

Business Consultant and Cabinet Member for the Local Economy, Michael has 40 years experience in advising companies and individuals in film, tv, advertising and PR.


Claire Upton-Brown

Organisation: New Forest District Council
Sector: Chief Planning Officer


Eddie Curry

Organisation: Incuhive
Sector: Media and Innovation

I am a manager at Incuhive New Milton, providing a centre for entrepreneurs, business centre, and much more - 25 people joined so far and opening a photo studio and fablab digital laboratory New Milton in January 2020. Previously I was Director of the Newspaper the Advertiser & Times.

Keith Lightning

Organisation: Lightning Group
Sector: Energy & Renewable

Owner of Lightning and of KLIA Group of companies and associated businesses, main SME activities being electrical and instrumentation installations and specialist personnel provision, quality partnership and team practices and arrangements. RoSPA and British Safety Council Health & Safety National Award winners.  Services include Oil & Gas, Hazardous Areas, Energy From Waste, Nuclear, Power & General. Keith is a member of IOD, Management Board & General Council Member of Engineering Construction Industrial Association, Industrial Relations Committee and Engineering Productivity Improvement Committee.


Cllr Mel Kendal

Organisation: New Forest National Park Authority