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The Core Team

The Core Team has the following main work areas:

  • Programme/budget management 
  • Project delivery 
  • Funding and investment 
  • Promotion and marketing
  • Masterplanning 
  • Transport planning 
  • Servicing the Partnership and Company Boards
  • Partnering 
  • Quality control and innovation and sustainability

Judith Armitt – Managing Director

Judith Armitt brings to her new role extensive experience of managing major regeneration programmes. As Chief Executive of Thames Gateway, she was responsible for Europe’s most ambitious regeneration project, securing wide-ranging support from local and regional stakeholders.

Prior to joining the Thames Gateway she was Chief Executive of Medway Council for nine years. Having established the unitary authority from scratch, she went on to obtain Thames Gateway priority area status for Medway and secured more government funding for the area than any other part of the Gateway.

Before joining Medway Council in 1997 Judith was Borough Treasurer then Director of Finance at Lewisham Council. Judith joined Lewisham Council after 10 years at Greater London Council.

Email Judith Armitt or telephone 01233 330 810.

Tom Dobrashian - Programme Director and Deputy Managing Director

Tom joined Ashford’s Future as programme director and deputy managing director in March 2009, and is responsible for helping to lead Ashford’s ambitious growth area plans, working with both public and private sectors to ensure the delivery of key projects.

With a background in engineering and a Masters in Public and Private Management, Tom was previously Commercial Director of a major regeneration project in Lancashire and had a brief spell with a built environment consultancy prior to his move to Kent.

He has extensive experience of managing major master planning processes and acquisitions programmes, and negotiating key developer agreements and overseeing their delivery.

Email Tom Dobrashian or telephone 01233 330822.

Jane Ripley – Office Manager

Jane began her career with Norwich Union in Norwich for eight years, followed by two years with the Midland Bank in Kings Lynn.  Since moving to Kent in 1988 Jane has worked for a number of major private sector companies including working for the Project and Estates Manager with Eurotunnel Developments. 

Jane’s key role is to co-ordinate the work of the Core Team and provide high-level executive and administrative support to ensure the team operates effectively.

Email Jane Ripley or telephone 01233 330812.

Andy Phillips – Head of Transport

Andrew’s role is to co-ordinate the delivery of a sustainable transport strategy to support the Ashford Masterplan for growth. He is working closely with local authorities to implement and promote use of new Park and Ride, public transport, walking and cycling schemes.

Andrew has over 30 years experience in planning transportation projects and strategies in local government at Lewisham, Maidstone, and nearly 20 years with Canterbury City Council. Andy moved to work in his home town of Ashford over three years ago.

Email Andrew Phillips or telephone 01233 330823.

Linda Doran – Head of Economic Development

Linda joined Ashford’s Future in February 2006 as Economic Projects Manager.  After a period of time in the private sector she began her career in Economic Development and then moved into consultancy work for the public sector.

Linda is very experienced in partnership working, not only in the cross cultural environment of the regions of Europe but at a national and regional level in the UK.  She gained her first experience of Local Authority employment with Dover District Council before joining the team at Ashford. 

Email Linda Doran or telephone 01233 330824.

Laurienne Tibbles – Sustainable Development Manager

Laurienne joined Ashford's Future as Sustainable Development Manager in July 2007. Her role is to champion sustainable solutions for Ashford's growth. Laurienne has previously worked for the Core Team and partners, managing projects promoting wildlife awareness among local businesses.

Laurienne originally trained in Biological Sciences and has a solid understanding of the importance and varied functions our environment performs, as well as the pressures it currently faces.

Email Laurienne Tibbles or telephone 01233 330815.

Stuart Nicholls – Programme Manager

Stuart joined Ashford's Future in November 2006. He worked previously in the NHS for 12 years on project and programme management covering clinical and service improvements, corporate governance and risk management in various NHS organisations.

Prior to joining Stuart had worked on the programme management for the merger of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Ambulance Services and the establishment of South East Coast NHS Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Email Stuart Nicholls or telephone 01233 330825.

Irene Seijo - Blue/Green Grid Manager

Irene is responsible for Ashford’s ‘Green and Blue’ Strategy, which aims to improve Ashford’s green spaces and waterways, and create new ones.

Irene has an MA in Public Art and Design, a BA in Landscape Architecture and has been working for over 30 years in the environmental sector. She previously worked as south east London area director of Groundwork, the UK’s foremost environmental regeneration charity, and was responsible for projects in Lewisham, Southwark, Greenwich and Bexley.

Email Irene Seijo or telephone 01233 330828.

Brigid Burnham - Head of Communications and Marketing

Brigid is responsible for communications and marketing activities for Ashford’s Future as well as Ashford Borough Council. 

For Ashford’s Future, her role is to develop and lead the company’s marketing and communications strategy to support Ashford’s growth at a local, regional and national level and position the town as ‘Best Placed in Britain’ to live, work and do business.  

Before coming to Ashford, Brigid worked for blue chip multinationals including Tesco, Orange and Compass Group, heading up strategic communications and marketing programmes for local, national and international audiences.

Email Brigid Burnham or telephone 01233 330543.