The SWLEP Board

Our Board has 14 members, 10 from the private sector and 4 from key public sector organisations including the Leaders of Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council whose administrative areas make up the geographic area of the SWLEP.

Board Members

John Mortimer

John Mortimer (Chairman)

John Mortimer has worked for 13 years as South West Director of the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) based at Hartham Park near Corsham. He had previously worked for 25 years in the minerals industry latterly as Technical and External Affairs Director at Hanson Quarry Products Europe Ltd in Chipping Sodbury.
 
John is also a management board member on the South West Rural and Farming Network and is a director of South West Chamber of Rural Enterprise.
 
Amanda Burnside

Amanda Burnside


Amanda is Principal and Chief Executive of Wiltshire College, a Further Education college, serving 12,000 students across 4 campuses (including a specialist landbased campus) in Wiltshire- Chippenham, Trowbridge, Salisbury and on the Lackham estate near Lacock. The College also has 4 outreach centres including facilities at Devizes and Warminster and a specialist motorsport engineering centre at Castle Combe race track.

 Amanda is active in promoting the skills agenda regionally and nationally and is a board member of both Landex and the new National Land Based College and a board member of Inspire, the Wessex Chambers of Commerce. She is also Chair of the Board of The Colleges’ Partnership which specialises in military apprenticeships.

Prior to joining the College in 2014, Amanda worked in a number of senior positions in the education, skills and private sectors.

Register of Interest

Councillor David Renard

Councillor David Renard

David was elected Leader of Swindon Borough Council in April 2013 having served as Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children's Services previously. He has been a Swindon Borough councillor since 2002 and a Cabinet Member since 2004 covering portfolios including Children's Services, Housing, Adult Social Care and Integration with Health services prior to taking on Children's Services.
 
He was a Board Member of the Social Enterprise, SEQOL and has also held a range of other appointments over the years, and been responsible for delivering a huge range of projects and service improvements.
 
David has experience in many fields including travel and tourism, training and buying.  He has chaired two charities and Swindon Conservative Association and has been a governor at two schools including 13 years at Haydonleigh Primary School.
 
He has lived with his family in Swindon for 23 years.
 
Shahina Johnson

Shahina Johnson

Shahina Johnson has worked for a decade as CEO and Artistic Director at Create Studios Digital Media in Swindon.
 
Create Studios provides transformational opportunities for individuals and communities, using digital arts as a tool for education, skills development and connection with those in danger of social exclusion or isolation. Create's professional digital commission production generates income to support their social enterprise model.
 
Previously she worked in national digital cultural education initiatives for Arts Council England. 

Register of Interest

Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE

Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE

Leader of Wiltshire Council since 2003, Jane represents the By Brook ward and has shown real commitment and drive in developing the Authority's role of supporting the development of Wiltshire's economy.
 
With the support of the business community, she led Wiltshire Council's successful bid for Unitary status in 2009 and this is now delivering real benefits to all those who live and work in the County.
 
She juggles her hectic political life with her business interest in a small stock breeding farm in the county.  She was a member of N.Y.A and a member of LSC and Chairs the Wiltshire Public Service Board and MCI Board.
 
Col James Coote DSO OBE

Col James Coote DSO OBE

Colonel James Coote commissioned into The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment in 1994. He has deployed on operations in Northern Ireland (1995-7, 2002), the Balkans (2002), Iraq (2004) and Afghanistan (2009-10, 2011-12). James has served with both Regular and Reserve battalions and was appointed as a Deputy Colonel of the Regiment (an honorary appointment) in August 2014.
 
Other career highlights include a tour as Military Assistant to Commander Regional Command (South) in Kandahar and two years co-ordinating overseas exercises in the former Soviet Union and wider Europe. His most recent assignments have been in the Army Strategy Branch, where he has had particular responsibility for Parliamentary and wider engagement, and as Assistant Head Military Strategic Plans.
 
James was born in Cornwall, schooled in Dorset and (despite a peripatetic Army lifestyle) now considers Wiltshire home.
 
George Gill

George Gill

George Gill is a Corsham-based business leader who has built digital agency GG Media Resources Ltd from scratch and developed it to become a Tech Track 100 business.
George and his team at GG Media Resources Ltd have worked on projects for a broad range of clients, including large scale media and telecommunications businesses such as Vodafone and Sky.

He has also been involved with many high profile charity works, including a number of projects for the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and as an advisor to the Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Trust. 

Before founding his own company, he previously worked in the Commercial team at Future Publishing in Bath and as a Royal Marines Reservist.
Vic O'Brien

Vic O'Brien

Vic has worked in the housing development field for 25 years, and for the last 19 years he has worked in Wiltshire and Swindon and the surrounding areas. He recently completed a 10-year spell at GreenSquare Group based in Swindon as the group's Development Director where he led a team of 50 staff delivering development, construction and sales services. Vic has delivered over 1,000 homes in Wiltshire including a number of strategic projects to meet local authority objectives. 
 
Vic recently commenced work as the Partnership Director of Heylo Housing. Heylo is a private investor which employs institutional funding (eg pension funds) and invests it in affordable housing, principally shared ownership. This new model of investment is a valuable source of funding in addition to that available from housing associations and local authorities.
 
Simon Patten

Simon Patten

Simon Patten is Vice- President, UK operations with SS8, an international network compliance solutions company. 

 
Simon joined SS8 after a 30 year career with BT, where we was director of secure enterprise services. For the past 18 years he has have been involved in the public sector, predominantly working with the defence community, and was also a trustee of the Defence Medical Welfare Service charity. During his time with BT he has held multiple leadership roles in Procurement, Sales and Delivery for the organisation. He was also a member of the BT South West Regional Board and has represented the company on Tech UK's Defence & Security Board. 
 
Simon holds a BA in Business Studies and gained his MSc. as a Sloan Fellow of the London Business School.
 
Adam Schallamach

Adam Schallamach

Adam is Vice Chair of the SWLEP and a qualified lawyer with 26 years' experience in the financial services sector in the United Kingdom, the Far East and America.  Within financial services he has worked in a broad range of areas including competition, regulation, structuring and issuance, capital policy and investor relations. He has a close interest in the support and development of high growth SMEs.

Register of Interest

Peter Wragg

Peter Wragg

Peter is Chairman of Visit Wiltshire Limited, a private sector company managing tourism product development and marketing in Wiltshire. The company promotes the county, encouraging more visitors to come to the area and enjoy the unique sights and experiences it offers. Since its inception Visit Wiltshire has succeeded in incrementally drawing many new and repeat visitors into the county generating additional income into the visitor economy. Peter has great experience of working in the private sector and with private-public partnership  organisations. He recently became a Board Member of the Tourism Alliance, whose purpose is to lobby government both in the UK and in Brussels on the key strategic issues facing the industry.
 
He is also Director of the Royal Artillery Museum and a Director of the Bath Rugby Foundation, a registered charity promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Until 2013, Peter owned Widbrook Grange Hotel and Leisure Club, a country house hotel in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire.
 
Before buying the hotel in 2001, Peter had a successful career in the automotive industry living and working in Europe, the Middle and Far East, America and Africa. His forte lies in Marketing and he was North American Market Director with Volvo Truck Corporation.  Progressing into General Management, he became Managing Director of a UK Volvo subsidiary, Managing Director of an automotive marketing services company and Group Managing Director of Marshalls East Africa PLC.
 
Paddy Bradley

Paddy Bradley (Secretariat - Director)

As Director, Paddy has overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of SWLEP and its operations.
 
A highly-experienced local government director, Paddy was previously Head of Economy, Skills and Property Development at Swindon Borough Council. In that role, he regularly provided strategic and operational support to SWLEP.
 
Paddy has a wide range of experience in the public and private sectors, working as a business analyst and system designer. He also spent over 20 years in education as a teacher, headteacher and education inspector.
 
Paddy lives in Wroughton and is married to Alison. He relaxes outside work with long-distance walks and diving.