Amanda Masters, General Manager of Experience Guildford
Tell us a little about your career that has led you to your role at Experience Guildford.
My first experience of Guildford was when I started working at Eagle Radio about 10 years ago as their Sales Controller. I fell in love with the area very quickly and bought a lovely house in Cranleigh. Eagle Radio progressed into a job role at the Chambers of Commerce, and it was that role that led me to the BID, where I am now. As far as I’m concerned, if you have enough interest and desire for something, you should take the opportunity with both hands!
What’s it like working in Guildford?
Once you’ve got your friendship network sorted, you’ve also got your business network sorted in Guildford. People are very welcoming here; if you’re serious about business and the town, you will definitely get on.
Tell us what you love about Guildford, from a personal standpoint.
At first glance, Guildford is full of fantastic big brands on its High Street, but if you look to your left and right, every single small alleyway or lane is filled to the brim with independent businesses. For example, both Jeffries Passage and Chapel Street are predominantly independent. I’m very proud that we support 125 independent businesses in the town centre alone!
We’ve also got an impressive list of independent restaurants, bars and pubs. I also love how beautiful everything is – never forget to look up in Guildford; we have so many lovely historical buildings. Our town is full of little quirks.
Please tell us more about Experience Guildford.
We shouldn’t rest on our laurels, just because we have a beautiful, charming town. Over the last few years we’ve seen other towns that were previously in the shade take off because of dedication and innovation. Guildford is a constant project that needs lots of energy and passion, not just from a commercial point of view, but also as a place where people want to live and work.
Guildford is going through lots of key changes at the moment, and it’s great to be a part of it. Alice In Wonderland and Lewis Carroll are key parts of Guildford’s cultural heritage that are going to be expanded upon.
Tell us more about the ‘blue caps’, or town rangers. What do they do? Can anyone ask for their help if they see them in the street?
We currently have 5 blue caps. They are out 7 days a week during the day, focusing on daytime economy. They are basically there to be the eyes and the ears of the town and for Experience Guildford.
They are friendly, approachable and brimming with local knowledge. They are all people who grew up in the town and an absolute requirement of the job is that they can give excellent directions. They’ll be doing anything during their day-to-day work, from moving bin bags that have been left out at the wrong time, to reporting pigeon mess, to keeping a watch out for any suspicious activity. They are trained in every unusual facet of their job; they’re amazing.
How did you become a member of The County Club?
My first connection to The County Club was through Kevin Lorimer, the manager at The County Club. Kevin was Chairman of the board of Experience Guildford when I joined so a close working relationship was a natural outcome.
What is your favourite part of The County Club?
The County Club has a lovely ambience. It’s a calm, quiet oasis of tranquillity in the middle of a very busy town. You know that if your working day is hectic and chaotic you can go into The County Club and completely relax. The staff are also fantastic and Kevin seems to know everybody’s name, so socialising and networking is easy and friendly.
What do you consider to be the benefits of being a member of The County Club?
Getting an idea of what the business people think about Guildford is invaluable for my work. It means that I have a chance to move things forward where I might not have been able to, had it not been for the connections and networking opportunities that The County Club offers.
Call, email or use our online form to get in touch with The County Club. We will endeavour to respond quickly to your questions, enquiries about Club facilities and suggestions you may have.