Reading business leaders moving onBy Paul Cassell
July 26, 2012
A business leader who dedicated the past eight years to driving forward Reading’s economy is to move on this autumn.
Tim Smith will leave his role as executive director of Reading UK CIC on October 16 to take a up a position as business director for the new Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
The economic development company’s Business Improvement District (BID) manager Guy Douglas also left last Wednesday to pursue a project with the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM).
The Oracle manager Steve Belam, who chairs Reading UK, praised the “valuable contribution” both Mr Smith and Mr Douglas had made to Reading adding their decision to leave was inevitable because of their success in the town.
He said: “Tim and Guy are very good at what they do and ultimately we should be proud to have developed and produced two people that have gone on to bigger and better things.
“They are both competent individuals who have done an exceptional job for Reading UK CIC and Reading itself, and the task ahead is to find someone with similar skills but who also might be able to bring something slightly different to both roles.
“I wish them both success for the future, and I would like to thank them publicly for what they have done for Reading.”
Broad Street Mall manager Steve Fawke said: “Tim has done so much to get us where we are.
“One of his phrases in board meetings was ‘row, steer and cheer’ in deciding whether we should lead, help something along or celebrate an event when we were looking at projects.
“We are going to struggle to get someone of his calibre in the time we have got.
“His success was getting to know everybody he needed to know and he would get things done.
“He is a ‘can do’ man, and Guy was very similar although in a different role.
“They are both going to be big shoes to fill and I wish them well in their future endeavours.”
Reading UK CIC was formed under the leadership of Mr Smith in 2007 to promote and sustain the economic development of the town and is led by a board made up of senior figures from businesses across the town.
Prior to this he was heavily involved in the regeneration of Reading as city centre manager and established the first BID two years earlier to secure commercial investment in the town.
Mr Douglas successfully instigated a five-year renewal of the BID after joining Reading UK CIC in 2008 and the company is now developing its third improvement plan.
The BID has helped cover the cost of extra policing, additional cleaning of the town centre, Reading’s Christmas lights and events including the Outside: Inside Festival, Open for Art and Eat Reading Live.