The Pershore Place Board is a direct result of the successful launch of the Pershore Town Centre Investment Prospectus. While operating autonomously, the board is accountable to the executive board of Wychavon District Council and tasked to assist, advise, and inform the district council and others in facilitating the betterment of Pershore.
The purpose of the Board is to facilitate delivery of the vision and strategic objectives of the Investment Prospectus, through the leadership of the strategic development and enhancement of Pershore, ensuring the appropriate type, scale, and diversity over the longer-term with careful regard to the uniqueness and character of the town. Including the creation and oversight of a Pershore Ambassadors programme, designed to ensure collaboration, cohesion, and unification of focussed project deliverables supported by new future public and private investment.
The Pershore Place Board consists of Pershore based volunteers, across a wide selection of professional backgrounds, who have been specifically selected to ensure a comprehensive approach to the delivery of economic, cultural, and social development in Pershore.
They operate on an impartial and non-political basis to research, consider and make recommendations to Wychavon District Council and other bodies, as appropriate, in order to achieve the Board’s purpose.
The Pershore Place Board meets monthly at different locations throughout the town with a guest speaker typically every other month and regular visitors to observe the meeting too.
Who’s on the Place Board?
Darren Eden - The Chair
Darren trained as an ambulance paramedic and practiced locally, in Pershore. Subsequently he attained a higher law degree and worked as head of governance for the ambulance service and then as policy manager for an NHS regulator. Having moved to the private sector Darren is an entrepreneur and leads a Pershore based investment company which is one of Wychavon’s largest private sector employers.
Always keen to use his skills and experience to help the economic enhancement of Pershore, Darren likes to prioritise the creation of opportunities for local people to develop and prosper.
Pershore resident since 1976. Retired from working on international economic and social aid projects in 1987. Joined the Number 8 Fund raising team at the invitation of Andrew Clasen. Later became a Trustee and still hold this position. Also became a Trustee of The Friends of Pershore Hospital and am still a Trustee and Vice Chairman. Represented Number 8 on Pershore Market Town Partnership, (which he later chaired). Invited to lead the team that produced the Pershore Town Plan, which was adopted by Pershore Town Council in 2018 and is used as a reference document for future developments in the town.
Appointed Chairman of the newly formed Organ Donation Committee at Worcester Royal Hospital in 2010 and awarded the BEM by Queen Elizabeth II for this work. Currently a member of the Pershore Place Board and a Trustee of the Pershore Wellbeing Hub (which was born out of a need identified in the research for the Pershore Town Plan). Widowed in 2019 and have one son who is an artist and filmmaker. Paint pottery and pictures for relaxation.
Branwen Bingle is Communities Officer for Pershore and Central Wychavon and also lives in the area with her family. A qualified teacher, she taught primary and secondary pupils in Worcestershire before moving to Higher Education, first as a Senior Lecturer and then Head of Primary Teacher Training. Having completed her PhD in English literature and identity construction in 2017, she is currently studying a PG Dip in Voluntary Sector Management. Branwen joined the board in order to represent the perspective of community and voluntary organisations in the development of Pershore and its surrounding area.
County Councillor for Pershore, District Councillor for Pershore and a Pershore Town Councillor.
Dave was founding Chairman of BRYT energy now owned by Statkraft . He is also Chair of Just Trade Ltd ,a fair trade company, a trustee of Abbottswood Medical Centre trust and Lenchwood Christian Trust. He was a member of the Town Plan committee and is keen to see the Place Board fulfil its objectives.
Having grown up in Pershore and the surrounding villages, Michael’s looking forward to help shape and deliver the next stage of Pershore’s growth as a member of the Pershore Place Board by identifying opportunities and attracting investment for the benefit of the community as a whole.
Married to Karen, they have 5 daughters. Michael is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors. As a Chartered Surveyor he spent 23 years with international real estate advisers in a variety of transactional and senior management roles both in the UK and abroad. Since leaving corporate life, Michael has bought, restored and sold a number of listed buildings in the Cotswolds, Bath and the West Country on his own account. He has been National Treasurer of the Gideons International in the British Isles and remains an active member of Good News for Everyone (formerly Gideons International). Currently, Michael is Chairman of the Friends of Pershore Abbey, Chairman of the Pershore Civic Society, a member of the Avonreach Academy Trust, a member of the Pershore Abbey Choir and a Trustee of Number 8 Ltd. Also a member of the Little Ship Club & Treasurer and Deputy Chairman of the Avon Navigation Trust (ANT).
Jilly Oxlade-Arnott is a Professional Artist, specialising in Architecture, working in watercolour and ink. With her husband Chris, they run The Gallery located on Pershore High Street representing guest artists from around of Worcestershire as well as her own work. Her commercial background is in Marketing having worked in London and Birmingham across all fields including advertising, event management, design and PR. Passionate about where she lives and works, her aim is to promote the town as a desirable tourist destination, building upon its already enviable position within the county.
Sam Tarran is the Board Lead on Public Transport and Roads. He has lived in Pershore much of his life. He is currently a project manager specialising in Intelligent Transport Systems for a global engineering consultancy.
The current Pershore and Rural Regeneration and Tourism Officer for the district council. Previous to this role, Angela is well-known in the role as the tourism officer for the district having created the Blossom Trail and the hugely successful development of the Pershore Plum Festival, which she chairs.
What have the place board been working on?
The Pershore Place Board held their meeting in July 2022. To date, they have helped complete the following projects:
- Pershore town centre flags project
- Broad street tree lighting (for key events in the annual calendar)
- Union flag fabric bunting for across the High Street
- Additional Christmas lights to extend the coverage in the town centre
- ‘Promoting Pershore Project’ with Pershore Town Council (opening tourism office on a Saturday, Visit Pershore social media, part-time new member of staff for a year, new display equipment in town hall)
- Small contribution to improving a small public park/garden in the town.
Current projects being worked on include:
- Pershore Georgian Christmas Fayre (annual event, local business sponsors, WDC, PPB, PTC set-up grant)
- 60 building mounted Christmas trees mounted in the flag brackets over the festive period
- Protocol for the temporary closure of Broad Street for events
- Pershore Marina (major project) potential for private or public/private partnership ownership
What’s planned for the future?
Projects in the pipeline include:
- Pershore open local produce market in Broad Street – ideally monthly on a Sunday morning.
- Elevating Pershore Town Centre Project (major project)
- developing terms of reference for a broad and inclusive project to identify how and where the town centre can be elevated
- Involve PTC, WDC, WCC, public opinion/consultation
Examples of what will be included:
- Enhancing green spaces with a focus on wellbeing
- Improving Church walk for parking, pedestrian and visual appeal
- Small upgrades to Broad Street as a ‘town square area’
- Considering the prospectus recommendations about access to the town centre and parking
- Enhanced places to sit and enjoy the town
- Designated circular walks
- New town centre entrance signage, branding and planting
- Incorporate accessibility report
Where can I find out more information?
You can find a meeting summary for each of our meetings here and we’ll update the website with new projects when they are completed.
Link to meeting summary doc for each of the meetings.
How do I get in touch with the Pershore Place Board?