Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration arm, has appointed five new members to its Board of Directors- with a sixth set to be announced in September.

Gabrielle Berring, Jon Milward, Adam Towle, Pam Vick and Martin Cresswell have all joined the board at Be First. The organisation is responsible for the regeneration and redevelopment of Barking and Dagenham and has plans to build 50,000 new homes and create 20,000 new jobs in the borough by 2037. The new additions to the board are expected to support this ambition.

All five appointees bring a wealth of experience, relevant to Be First. Gabrielle Berring has over 35 years of experience in real estate. Formerly director of real estate at Metro Bank PLC, and head of real estate at Lloyds Banking Group, Gabrielle now holds a position on the board at Habitare Homes and HomeNow.

Jon Milward is currently the managing director of Milward Associates, where he advises senior management teams on real estate development issues across the public and private sectors. Jon specialises in advising and managing relationships between developers, landowners and public authorities across regeneration projects and previously held a position as Head of Development at Drivers Jonas and Deloitte.

Adding to Be First’s credentials in the architecture, design, and planning sectors, Adam is an expert advisor to the Design Council and has played a key role in design and planning teams across London, including for the Mayor of London. Most recently, Adam has been working with Harrow and Ealing Councils to deliver their ambitious and award-winning home building programmes.

Pam Vick is another appointee who has board experience and is a highly regarded non-exec director, committee chair, commercial business development consultant and strategic consultant to boards. She is currently a non-exec director on the board of Energy & Utilities Skills Group amongst others and her extensive experience at Boardroom Advisors’ plus her ambassadorship for Women on Boards UK will bring a unique offering to Be First.

Be First’s final appointee to the Board of Directors is Martin Cresswell. Martin has extensive experience in delivering organisational improvement across both the public and private sectors. Martin is currently the Chair of the Lampton Group, the trading arm of the London Borough of Hounslow, as well as a non-executive director of Impower Consulting, a company dedicated to delivering better public service outcomes for less.

Ceri Richards, Acting Chair of the Board, said:

We are sad to say goodbye to the outgoing board members, whose contribution to Be First’s formative years has been so vital. However, we are delighted to welcome five new members, who all have unique expertise and experience to help Be First overcome new challenges in the coming years.

“We have huge ambitions for Barking and Dagenham and look forward to delivering for the borough as we continue this journey.”