Founding member of rural service provider in Bishop's Castle retires

By Rory Smith | Bishop's Castle | News | Published:

A founding member of an organisation delivering rural services in and around Bishop's Castle has retired.

Peter Phillips, Lord Houghton and Graham Biggs (CEO South Shropshire Distrct Council) at the opening of Challenge Court in Bishop’s Castle 1997

Former Shropshire Council leader Peter Phillips, long time chairman and member of the Enterprise South West Shropshire (ESWS) board, has retired.

Peter was one of the founding members of the then Bishop’s Castle & District Lifeline Company back in 1995.

This came about with a big financial injection into the South West of the county from the Rural Challenge project when around £5 million was invested into the economic recovery of the area.

The fund supported a wide range of business and community projects as well as refurbishing the old Walters Trouser Factory and the Farm Gas factory as Enterprise House and Challenge Court.

Peter Phillips discussing the SpArC Theatre programme with committee member Richard Whately in 2013

At this time Peter was the leader of Shropshire Council and oversaw the upgrade and expansion of the leisure centre and the move of the library into Enterprise House.

The company vice chairman, Tim Russell, currently acting chairman, said Peter has always been a strong advocate for tourism support and local economic regeneration, stating he was instrumental in sourcing a large amount of grant funding towards the construction of the artificial grass pitch at the leisure centre.

Mr Russell added: “In the short time I have been a director, I have found Peter to be a wise and supportive chairman, I know we’ll miss his insights into our operation."

Company manager Mike Ashwell said: “Peter has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the company and its objectives. He’s been incredibly supportive of all our initiatives and a firm guiding hand.”

Enterprise House is the home of ESWS which manages the library, SpArC Theatre, the IT centre and loans out equipment to events in the area.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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