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Posted on:
8th March, 2019

Coast to Capital LEP celebrates its outstanding women business leaders

To mark International Women’s Day, Coast to Capital profiles two women who have gained business investment and success through the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

Ridgeview Winemakers

Awarded a Coast to Capital Regional Growth Fund grant of £29,089

Tamara Roberts joined Ridgeview, the family’s English sparkling wine making business, as General Manager and became CEO in 2014. Tamara has overseen growth from the original 25k bottles per annum to 300k bottles and is currently managing the next growth phase which will see production reaching 600k by 2020. This expansion at Ridgeview has been supported by two Coast to Capital grants; in 2014 towards the purchase of a new bottling line to increase capacity and in 2016 assisting the renovation of their new Head Office.

2018 has been a fantastic year for Ridgeview as they continue amazing international success, culminating in being awarded “Winemaker of the Year” in the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition 2018. This is on the back of Ridgeview’s biggest and best ever harvest. As a reward for Tamara’s tireless efforts at Ridgeview and the wider business community she was awarded joint winner of ‘International Business Woman of the Year’, at the Sussex Business Women in Excellence Awards.

Janina Cooper - The Base Skate Park

Awarded a Coast to Capital Regional Growth Fund grant of £36,767

“In 2013, I was working for Sussex Police, and after 10 years, was starting to get itchy feet, and starting to feel lost. I had had my two boys and a fabulous husband who had his own career.  My boys had started scooting and I was spending a lot of time at the local outdoor skateparks. I witnessed a number of serious accidents, with no first aid equipment on site, I felt helpless. I soon came to realise that the weather also played a major part in whether children could ride or not.  A spark lit inside me and a vision and dream was born.

After being up most of the night with the thoughts of building my own Skatepark, I presented my revelation to my boys over breakfast. Slightly shell shocked and wondering if mummy had completely lost her mind, it was met with enthusiasm and wonder. A frantic discussion took place, over where, how and more importantly why! I used the boys for inspiration and by the time breakfast was over we had our name and brand colours.

The next 364 days was spent organising the planning application, meeting local councillors, getting 1,000 people to sign a petition, taking a £40,000 loan on my house, raising money, finalising Skatepark designs and most important of all writing funding applications. The biggest one by far was for Coast to Capital. A lovely lady called Amanda Geel, took me through the form, and that constant help and support was invaluable to me as I had never written anything like that before. The £36,000 which we received was amazing and made a huge difference to the start-up of the business.

We opened in 2014 and have had over 100,000 people ride the park. We have won two national awards and three regional awards. We have bred the World Scooter Champion and regularly have world class riders visit us. We have worked with most of the schools in the local area and we are incredibly proud of our facility, community and the team who run it.”