April 20, 2018 @ 15:25 by Chloe Holmes
Barbara has developed strong networks with North East businesses through her fundraising activities and marketing career and the hotel group are looking to use her expertise to help build and expand their corporate client base. A refurbishment programme and creation of a new outdoor area for events is currently in progress at the hotel and Barbara’s appointment will help share this news to the business community.
Barbara stepped down as Chief Executive of County Durham Community Foundation at the end of 2017 and has set up as an independent adviser to support business development with companies and charity clients.
Having developed a strong network of corporate relationships over her career, Barbara understands that relationships are the key to success – whether that be a charity or a business. Creating partnerships is what motivates her and making sure that they work for both parties to deliver the best outcomes.
Peter Candler owner of Jesmond Dene House said:
“I’ve known Barbara for a number of years now and we have always worked well together. I know how well respected she is and thought that could only add value to our business. We have made a big commitment to ensure our customers have the best experience when they come to Jesmond Dene House with our current refurbishment investment programme and the addition of Barbara to the team will help us to spread this message to her corporate connections, promote our business offers and support our events co-ordination team.”
Barbara says: “Having worked with Peter on several charity fundraising projects, I was absolutely delighted when he offered me this opportunity. I have been a huge fan of Jesmond Dene House right from the beginning. As well as dining there from time to time, our family used the Great Hall for my mother’s 90th birthday which was absolutely brilliant. We also came here for afternoon tea after my mum’s wake – she would have loved that too! There are so many plusses about the hotel. You feel like you are in the country but yet you are still very convenient for access to main routes and the city centre. The meeting rooms have recently been redecorated and have privacy and seclusion. The food is lovely. Plus there is loads of free parking – which is such a bonus these days.”
“I think there is a perception that Jesmond Dene House is exclusive and not affordable but that is definitely not the case and they have lots of offers on a regular basis. I’m hoping to entice people out of Newcastle City Centre for meetings and client accommodation – it’s often on their way into work or way home and it has such a relaxing atmosphere. So it ticks all the boxes.”
Jesmond Dene House has also developed an outdoor wedding space with circular stage, BBQ pit and bar area but it is planned to make this available for corporate events and other activities. And Barbara has recently trained as a Celebrant so she will be performing the hotel weddings, vow renewals and naming ceremonies.
Photograph: Alexandria Dawn Photography