Speakers, Panellists & Judges Include

Meet the Speakers & Panellists

Jonty Ashworth

Jonty Ashworth

Property Development Manager, Bicester Heritage

Jonty is the Property Development Manager at Bicester Heritage, the Centre of Excellence at the core of the historic motoring industry. Bicester Heritage has trailblazing plans to deliver the UK’s first 425 acre experiential resort to champion automotive motion of the past, present and future. His background is major project delivery and master planning, providing a diverse range of projects in motorsports, leisure and tourism. Project examples include: Zhejiang International Circuit, China; Royal Air Force Museum, London; BMW Park Lane , Born Electric showroom; Media City UK (BBC), Salford; BMW UK HQ and various Jaguar Land Rover projects.

Matthew Battle

Matthew Battle

Managing Director, UK Property Forums

Matthew is the Founder and Managing Director of UK Property Forums. Established in 2004, UKPF enables conferences, events and networking opportunities across the Greater Thames Valley region including Oxford, Reading and Aylesbury. As part of the range of events which UKPF have created, he leads UK Prop Social, a networking club for 150+ members and also the Thames Valley offer at MIPIM UK and MIPIM Cannes, France. Having lived and studied in the Thames Valley, he is very informed about the region and passionate about the development of a group for all those involved in the Thames Valley property markets.

Hayley Beer-Gamage

Hayley Beer-Gamage

CEO, Experience Oxfordshire

Working in destination management for over 20 years across the public, private and voluntary sectors, Hayley now leads the award-winning destination management organisation (DMO) – Experience Oxfordshire – as their Chief Executive where she has continually developed their business model through the successful introduction and implementation of commercial services. Prior to this she was the Director of Oxfordshire Cotswolds’ Tourism Services where she developed and implemented a Cotswold wide Destination Management plan and has worked in numerous Local Authorities across Oxfordshire and Gloucester, having started her career with a tour operator. She has held various non-executive director roles including those at Tourism South East and the Tourism Society. Hayley is the immediate past Chairman of the Tourism Society for which she served on their board of directors for a decade and is now a Fellow of the Society. With a strong marketing background, Hayley is passionate about continuous improvement, relationship building and raising the profile of the importance of the visitor economy sector.

Hugh Blaza

Hugh Blaza

Hugh enjoyed a highly successful career as a commercial property lawyer, leading one of the major real estate firms in the country. Having graduated from University College Oxford and trained in the City, Hugh returned to Oxford in 1986 where he now works as a consultant to the property community. He believes that whilst there is much to admire in recent developments, the plans which are being forged to harness and accommodate the activity in the region will make the next few years the most exciting in the region for decades.

Sarah-Jane Curtis

Sarah-Jane Curtis

Property Director, Bicester Motion

Sarah-Jane Curtis is Property Director at Bicester Motion, a position she has held since January 2020. Prior to this, Sarah Jane worked for Value Retail Management Ltd, as Business Director, Bicester Village. Before joining Value Retail in 2016, Sarah-Jane was Director, Covent Garden for Capco, where she was instrumental in the reinvention of this historical location.

Sarah-Jane spent the majority of her career with Grosvenor where her responsibilities included London Estate Director and Fund Manager for Liverpool ONE. Sarah-Jane is a Non-Executive Director at TR Property Investment Trust plc.

Ahmed Goga

Ahmed Goga

Director of Strategy and Programmes, OxLEP

Ahmed is an energetic and commercially-successful business leader with a strong track record in strategy development, service delivery and operational management in the public and private sectors.

With 20 years’ leadership experience in various senior management team and Board level roles, he has an extensive record in building high-level relationships and partnerships at local, regional and national levels to deliver innovative business solutions.

Ahmed’s role at OxLEP sees him leading a variety of high-profile strategic programmes with global impact, including continued involvement in Oxfordshire’s growth deal and the county’s response to the government’s industrial strategy.

Sarah Haywood

Sarah Haywood

Managing Director, Advanced Oxford

Sarah Haywood is Managing Director for Advanced Oxford, a group of senior leaders from the area’s major knowledge-intensive businesses, working together to support the long-term development of the Oxford region as a dynamic and prosperous place to work and live.  Sarah is also an Executive Director with MedCity, the life sciences cluster organisation for London and the greater south east of England.  Sarah joined Advanced Oxford in July, 2019 and has been working with MedCity since its foundation and launch in 2014.

Angus Horner

Angus Horner

Director, Harwell Campus

Angus is focused on providing real estate, marketing, collaboration, networking and other support to organizations, people and places inside the UK Knowledge Economy. He is a firm believer in the power of research and innovation to deliver improved health, economic and social wellbeing. Angus sits on Harwell’s Cluster Steering Board and on the HealthTec, Space and EnergyTec Boards. Lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and children.

Dr Caroline Livingstone

Dr Caroline Livingstone

Head of Property, Culham Science Centre

Caroline is the Head of Property for UKAEA at Culham Science Centre which includes responsibility for management of the Commercial property at Culham Science Centre as well as the Culham Estate, its existing buildings and  the development of new buildings for both UKAEA and commercial property use.  Caroline’s role includes involvement in the development of the Harwell Campus as UKAEA are majority landowner and Harwell Joint Venture partner. Caroline was previously General Manager of Begbroke Science Park on behalf of the University of Oxford.  In her time there the site more than doubled in size and introduced a series of new business models for innovation, research collaboration and campus management. Caroline gained her PhD in Biotechnology from Sheffield University before working for UKAEA (then AEA Technology) at Harwell where she managed a variety of government research and export promotion programmes as well as the Marketing Department.

Naisha Polaine

Naisha Polaine

Senior Advisor, Department of International Trade

Naisha is a Senior Advisor to the Department of International Trade working across the UK to identify large-capital opportunities ready for international investment and works with international developers to deliver their ambitions in the UK. A property professional, she networks across Whitehall, private sector and public sector bodies to ensure that the best of the UK offer is promoted overseas. Naisha has also recently taken up an appointment as a Non-Executive Director for Hill Group – an Award-winning housebuilder with a turnover in excess of £500 million. Naisha is also a former Board Member for Cambridge University delivering the City’s 3000 home urban extension at North-West Cambridge.

Charles Rowton-Lee

Charles Rowton-Lee

Head of Commercial Agency, Savills

Nigel Tipple

Nigel Tipple

Chief Executive, OxLEP

Nigel joined Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) in June 2013 and has made his mark with energetic and inspirational leadership. He spearheaded the bid for the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal, the EU Structural and Investment Fund and Strategic Economic Plan submissions and is assisting the county’s businesses into a period of exceptional growth. Oxfordshire is already a powerhouse of innovation and wealth creation and Nigel is focused on building upon the region’s unique strengths to deliver economic success through the commercialisation of innovation. Nigel has over 20 years’ experience in the formation, development, operation and management of Public/Private sector organisations.

Meet the Judges

Jonty Ashworth

Jonty Ashworth

Property Development Manager, Bicester Heritage

Jonty is the Property Development Manager at Bicester Heritage, the Centre of Excellence at the core of the historic motoring industry. Bicester Heritage has trailblazing plans to deliver the UK’s first 425 acre experiential resort to champion automotive motion of the past, present and future. His background is major project delivery and master planning, providing a diverse range of projects in motorsports, leisure and tourism. Project examples include: Zhejiang International Circuit, China; Royal Air Force Museum, London; BMW Park Lane , Born Electric showroom; Media City UK (BBC), Salford; BMW UK HQ and various Jaguar Land Rover projects.

Matthew Battle

Matthew Battle

Managing Director, UK Property Forums (Joint Chair of the Judging Panel)

Matthew is the Founder and Managing Director of UK Property Forums. Established in 2004, UKPF enables conferences, events and networking opportunities across the Greater Thames Valley region including Oxford, Reading and Aylesbury. As part of the range of events which UKPF have created, he leads UK Prop Social, a networking club for 150+ members and also the Thames Valley offer at MIPIM UK and MIPIM Cannes, France. Having lived and studied in the Thames Valley, he is very informed about the region and passionate about the development of a group for all those involved in the Thames Valley property markets. 

Hugh Blaza

Hugh Blaza

Hugh enjoyed a highly successful career as a commercial property lawyer, leading one of the major real estate firms in the country. Having graduated from University College Oxford and trained in the City, Hugh returned to Oxford in 1986 where he now works as a consultant to the property community. He believes that whilst there is much to admire in recent developments, the plans which are being forged to harness and accommodate the activity in the region will make the next few years the most exciting in the region for decades.

James Dipple

James Dipple

Chief Executive, MEPC

James is a chartered surveyor and has over 35 years’ experience in commercial property. He joined MEPC in 2008 as a main Board Director and Managing Director for Milton Park and Silverstone Park before being promoted to CEO in 2014. In a previous role he led Milton Park’s modernisation between 1997 and 2001, and was instrumental in developing a number of well-known business parks in the UK whilst a commercial partner at Strutt and Parker. James has a keen interest in architecture and the built environment. He is a mentor for students studying Land Management at University of Reading where he gained his degree. In his spare time James enjoys sailing and cycling.

Andrew Farmery

Andrew Farmery

Partner, Blake Morgan

Andrew is a real estate partner who specialises in providing commercial real estate advice with a particular focus on major corporate occupiers and investors. He has many years of experience advising on acquisitions, developments, disposals, re-organisations and project work for major corporate entities. He also has significant investment and development experience acting for commercial developers and investors.

Angus Horner

Angus Horner

Director, Harwell Campus

Angus is focused on providing real estate, marketing, collaboration, networking and other support to organizations, people and places inside the UK Knowledge Economy. He is a firm believer in the power of research and innovation to deliver improved health, economic and social wellbeing. Angus sits on Harwell’s Cluster Steering Board and on the HealthTec, Space and EnergyTec Boards. Lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and children.

Dr Caroline Livingstone

Dr Caroline Livingstone

Head of Property, Culham Science Centre

Caroline is the Head of Property for UKAEA at Culham Science Centre which includes responsibility for management of the Commercial property at Culham Science Centre as well as the Culham Estate, its existing buildings and  the development of new buildings for both UKAEA and commercial property use.  Caroline’s role includes involvement in the development of the Harwell Campus as UKAEA are majority landowner and Harwell Joint Venture partner. Caroline was previously General Manager of Begbroke Science Park on behalf of the University of Oxford.  In her time there the site more than doubled in size and introduced a series of new business models for innovation, research collaboration and campus management. Caroline gained her PhD in Biotechnology from Sheffield University before working for UKAEA (then AEA Technology) at Harwell where she managed a variety of government research and export promotion programmes as well as the Marketing Department.

Agne Milukaite

Agne Milukaite

Founder, cycle.land

Agne Milukaite is the founder of www.cycle.land. The peer-to-peer bicycle sharing platform cycle.land aims to revolutionize the journeys that are 5 miles or less. Prior to launching this venture, Agne worked for a Canadian home robotics company in Berkeley, California. She received her MSc in Migration Studies at University of Oxford and as a social scientist by training and an entrepreneur by making is passionate and excited about the discussion on sharing economy and solving travel problems in cities like Cambridge and Oxford.

Jayne Norris

Jayne Norris

Director, Edgars

Jayne began her professional planning career working for the PSI (Power Station Impact) team at Oxford Brookes whilst a post graduate planning student. This was followed by twenty years in local government at South Oxfordshire District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council. In 2007 Jayne joined Edgar as a Director. Her experience spans 24 years across the spectrum of planning work, including Development Control, Local Plans, Enforcement, Heritage Proposals, Appeals and Environmental Impact Assessment, in both local government and private practice. Jayne was elected as a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1989, having completed an MSc in Urban Planning from Oxford Brookes University.

Hannah Smart

Hannah Smart

Director & Owner, Edge Urban Design

Winner of the Oxford Property Festival Young Person of the Year for 2018, Hannah is a leader in her field and promotes high-quality development and regeneration through her comprehensive and inspiring design process. Hannah recently featured in the BBC 2 documentary “The Newbuilds are Coming”, which followed a housing development through the Planning System; observing the extensive design process and detailed consideration that takes place behind the scenes of the development industry. She has been involved with masterplans and visions for NW Bicester Eco Town and successfully designed and delivered mixed-use masterplans of between 1 and 20,000 units in the South East, predominantly in Oxfordshire. A rising star of the future. 

Nigel Tipple

Nigel Tipple

Chief Executive, OxLEP

Nigel joined Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) in June 2013 and has made his mark with energetic and inspirational leadership. He spearheaded the bid for the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal, the EU Structural and Investment Fund and Strategic Economic Plan submissions and is assisting the county’s businesses into a period of exceptional growth. Oxfordshire is already a powerhouse of innovation and wealth creation and Nigel is focused on building upon the region’s unique strengths to deliver economic success through the commercialisation of innovation. Nigel has over 20 years’ experience in the formation, development, operation and management of Public/Private sector organisations.

Richard Venables

Richard Venables

Director, VSL & Partners

Richard was educated at St Edward’s, Oxford and Exeter University where he gained a geography degree. He commenced his surveying career in 1989 at Gerald Eve in London. He joined James Offen and Partners and in 2002 jointly started VSL. Richard has considerable experience in office, industrial, retail, development and investment agency work. Richard dedicates considerable time and energy to economic and cultural development in Oxfordshire. He is a board member of Experience Oxfordshire and Active Oxfordshire, a member of the Ashmolean corporate circle, a member of the Oxford City Council Economic Growth Steering Group and Chair of Reciprocate.  Richard was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire in 2017 and High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 2018/19. Outside work he is a hockey fanatic playing at Oxford Hawks Hockey Club and an enthusiastic park runner.

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