Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford of Suffolk Chamber to become new chief executive at Colbea in Colchester

Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford

Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford - Credit: Archant

Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) has named Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford as its organisations new chief executive.

Bob Baggalley, who retired as chief executive of the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea)

Bob Baggalley, who retired as chief executive of the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) last month. Picture: Sophie Skipper - Credit: Archant

Ashleigh, who has worked four years as assistant to the chief executive at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, succeeds Bob Baggalley who retired last month following 18 years in the role.

During her time with Suffolk Chamber, Ashleigh led the business development team and also worked in fellowship with the policy team at British Chambers of Commerce in London.

Her achievements have included the establishment of the Suffolk Young Chamber brand, to bridge the gap between business and local schools, and the launch of the Suffolk Business Ambassadors network on behalf of contract partner Suffolk County Council as part of its economic development brand, Invest in Suffolk.

Prior to her career with business support agencies, Ashleigh worked in the City of London in financial services for 12 years, the last six of which were spent at Seymour-Pierce where she was part of the team that listed Supergroup – the company behind fashion brand Superdry – alongside leading London broker Richard Redmayne.

Following her new appointment, Ashleigh said: “I am thrilled to have been selected to head up Colbea, a much loved and respected enterprise organisation in Colchester.

“Since my appointment, I have been blown away by the Colbea community and its commitment to each other and business growth. I look forward to working with our diverse board of professionals, the team and stakeholders to continue to stimulate Colchester’s economy and help realise the potential in our community.”

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Colbea is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing training, advice and business support services to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Colchester and the surrounding area.

Its business advice services for new business start-ups are either free of charge or heavily subsidised, through the support of Colchester Borough Council and sponsorship from a range of local businesses.

It also operates two serviced office centres, one centrally located close to Colchester Town railway station and the other on the Colchester Business Park, close to the A12.

Colbea is also a member of the National Enterprise Network (NEN) which advises the Government on business enterprise and entrepreneurship.