Meet the team - West of England Initiative

The West of England Initiative is a business leadership team which enables the business community to positively influence the way our area is shaped, managed and developed.

James Durie Business West
James Durie
Director - Bristol Initiative

Widely recognised as one of the most influential people in the region, James is passionate about making Bristol, Bath and the West of England the very best place to live and work for all of its citizens. He leads the organisations activity across this area and promotes the views of its 22,000 members to key decision makers locally and nationally. He sits on a number of boards including the West of England LEP.

Ian Bell Business West
Ian Bell
Executive Director (BANES)

Ian runs the Bath Chamber of Commerce and the Initiative in Bath and North Somerset, working on behalf of members to ensure the area has the best chance of economic growth and is attractive enough to draw in fresh investment to ensure a sustainable future for the district.


Sandy Bell
Sandy Bell
General Manager Bath Chamber of Commerce and the Initiative in B&NES

Sandy deals with all aspects of running the two organisations, keeping in close contact with members, representing their interests, making connections and arranging meetings - in short creating an atmosphere that's positive, informative and enjoyable.


Victoria Matthews Business West
Victoria Matthews
Initiative Membership Manager

Responsible for managing the relationships that Business West holds with our members, stakeholders and the largest businesses across Bristol, Victoria ensures that the voice of business is heard. Victoria sits on multiple boards across the city, including; Bristol One City Economy Board, Redcliffe and Temple BID Board, Young Bristol and the Bristol Women's Commission. Bringing together stakeholders from across the city including public, private and third sectors such as national and local government, Victoria works to make this region the best place to live, learn and work. 

Matt Griffith Business West
Matt Griffith
Director of Policy

Matt is a specialist in economic policy and has a long history of economic and business research and lobby work. He has previously worked as an advisor to government, including writing reports for the Prime Minister on improving England’s economic performance, reports on improving city growth and several recent high profile housing reports. He is currently Director of Policy at Business West.

  • Join the Initiative

    Help influence the shape of the region