Skipton Bid has a BID Manager who is supported by a number of dedicated voluntary Directors, who represent the different business sectors within Skipton.

Andrew Mear


“I have been a property owner in Skipton since the early 90s and feel like a constant in the town. Having the interests of many different tenants, the help given by Skipton BID since its inception has been beneficial and by promoting Skipton as a better place. Over recent years beside the keen desire to make Skipton the place to be, charities have also become an important part of my life, most importantly developing a fundraising strategy to help Parkinsons Uk.”

Sarah Howsen

BID Manager

Sarah went to school in Skipton before leaving for University and then to travel and lived in Australia for one year. She then returned to University and studied for a Masters Degree in Responsible Tourism Management at the University of Greenwich. She has worked in destination management for 15 years across various cities in Yorkshire. Sarah is passionate about high street regeneration and the success of Skipton. 

Lindsey Johnson - Vice Chair

Strategic Development Committee

Craven College

Lindsey is Principal of Craven College, and its subsidiary training provider, Tyro Training. A resident of Skipton, Lindsey has worked across a wide spectrum of education provision, with people of all ages and needs, in a variety settings. Fundamentally, Lindsey is driven by the transformative nature of learning, and the massive benefits that it yields for the individual, businesses and the local community. They have managed a range of businesses in the land-based sector and are keen to support young people into local jobs and adults to reskill and upskill.

David Smurthwaite

Strategic Development Committee

Craven District Council

David is currently the Strategic Manager of Craven District Council, one of the two ex-officio local authority positions on the Board. He joined the Board following the BID’s second renewal in 2014.

Ivan Le Roux

Audit Committee

Ivan worked in Skipton for over a decade and is Head of Group Insurance for AO.Com. Ivan is also the President of the Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce and represents their interest on the Board.

James Parker

Audit Committee

Skipton Building Society

James works at Skipton Building Society as the Training & Competence and Quality Assurance Governance Manager. James joined the Board in May 2021

Louise Close

Events Development Committee

Skipton Town Council

Louise Close is Chief Officer at Skipton Town Council. She has 15 years’ experience of working in Local Government and is ILCA and CILCA qualified in local government and a principle member of the Society of Local Councils. She has completed Level 3 of Leadership and Management, as well as Traffic management for road closures. Louise has lived in the Dales for 18 years and enjoys hiking and open water swimming in her spare time.

Louise Ackerman

Events Development Committee

Craven Court

Julian Hotchkiss

Marketing Committee

Benjamin's Opticians

Julian is an active member of the local business community. He is Managing Director of Dales Radio, the local radio station for the Yorkshire Dales and Practice Manager of Benjamin Opticians, a well-respected independent Skipton practice. Julian is former President of Skipton Chamber of Trade and was Chairman of Skipton Renaissance Partnership. His career, spanning 35 years, has taken him around the UK and worldwide as a broadcast media consultant and business owner, with market-leading radio stations. He has a wealth of experience in leadership, team development, sales and marketing. Julian is a member of Skipton Rotary Club and La Compagnon du Beaujolais. He settled in Skipton 15 years ago and brings to the BID Board years of knowledge and a hands-on approach to business management.

Rebecca Elsworth

Events Development Committee

Elsworth Kitchen

Rebecca alongside her husband owns the award-winning restaurant, Elsworth Kitchen in Skipton. Rebecca has long been an ambassador of Skipton, and brings a wealth of hospitality and business experience with her.  She has managed at the multi-award winning Devonshire Arms in Bolton Abbey and helped establish the Ilkley ‘Friends of Ham’. Her other roles include; Restaurant operational manager at Keelham Farm Shop, general manager of the four-star Craven Heifer in Addingham and general manager of the highly regarded five-star Ashmount Country House in Howarth. Along with her passion for Skipton and hospitality, Rebecca has a love for business and connecting with other local businesses. This started the idea for ‘Skipton Business Social’ and alongside Benjamin Opticians, SBC marketing and Dales Radio.

Liz Bailey

Strategic Development Committee

Teddy Boutique

Liz has worked in various senior roles within the corporate world including marketing, project implementation and international strategy.  Taking a step back from the corporate world, Liz (aka Bettie Bailey) has owned Teddy Boutique in Skipton for the past two years and is passionate and dedicated about using her past experience to help make a difference to Skipton and the businesses located here.

Jade Bonham

Marketing Committee

Kibble Café

Joanne Briggs

Events Development Committee

Yorkshire Building Society

Jo has worked in Skipton as a branch manager for the Yorkshire Building society since 2018. Prior to this she spent 15 years at the YBS head office in Bradford, initially as a contact centre agent on the telephones, then as a team manager in the contact centre. Since 2020 she has also managed the Keighley branch of YBS. Since working in Skipton she has fallen in love with the town, and managed to relocate from Bradford . She is a very keen equestrian in her spare time, and she currently sits on the committee for Silsden riding club.

Fred Maier

Events Development Committee


Hi I’m Fred Maier, I’m the Town Manager for Kooky & Pop Skipton. With over 10 years management experience in the hospitality trade, I aim to help put my expertise to use in driving Skipton forward with BID. In my free time you’ll probably catch me on Skipton Moor or any other fell I can get to run to with my trusted collie Bailey.

Emma Dixon

Events Development Committee

Devonshire Arms

I am currently the Pub Manager of The Devonshire Inn (JDW Pub) on Newmarket Street. I have recently moved back to the area, after spending my school and sixth form years around the town. It is an honour to be part of developing Skipton alongside the other board members, and have a positive impact in particular for the hospitality and licensed trade sector. Feel free to pop into the pub and ask me anything about the BID over a cup of coffee – I will do my best to answer any questions you may have!