Who we are

Development trusts are community organisations which: are owned and managed by the local community aim to achieve the sustainable regeneration of a community or address a range of economic, social, environmental and cultural issues within a community are independent but seek to work in partnership with other private, public and third sector organisations aim to reduce dependency on grant support by generating income through enterprise and the ownership of assets. All trading surpluses are principally reinvested in the organisation or the community. The Trust is run by a board of voluntary trustees elected at each AGM. Co-opted trustees may become elected members of the board at the next AGM. The trustees are responsible for supporting and advising staff and ensuring that the Trust’s work is in line with its mandate and conforms to the legal requirements of charity, company and other legislation.

Trustees (we currently have a 'rotating Chair')

Godfrey Thomas: I graduated in mathematics and then moved into IT and consultancy, working in social security, home affairs, defence, telecoms, manufacturing and the oil industry, often overseas. Much of this time I was managing sizeable projects, businesses and companies. We started our home in Lyme Regis in 1998 and have continued to share our time between Dorset and London since then. After I retired I became a miller at the Town Mill, then a trustee and chaired the Trust from 2003 to 2011 when my term expired. I was impressed by the Development Trust’s contribution to several of the Town Mill’s projects and this attracted me to become involved. I hope to be able to apply my business background, together with the local experience I have acquired, to help progress the Trust’s worthwhile social and economic objectives.

David Gale:  We moved to Lyme in 2005 and soon grew to realise what a vibrant and eclectic town it is, full of both home-grown and incoming talent and enthusiasm offering (too?!) many opportunities in which to become involved.  I later learned also of the many challenges we have as a rural coastal town and how the Trust works so effectively with both the Community as a whole and the local public authorities to the greater good – often with originality of ideas and successful delivery - but always with determination. Underpinning all of this is their careful use and development of property assets, in part to provide funding for their good works and I was keen to offer my support having over 30 years extensive and diverse management experience in the construction industry; now as a freelance Construction & Property Consultant I mainly undertake roles including Client Representative and/or Technical Advisor throughout the whole development and construction process.  I was formally elected to the Trust in June 2012 having been a co-opted member since October 2011 - and latterly lead the property management portfolio.

Clifford Allen:   I have more than twenty years of experience in management accounting and financial control in commercial and charitable organisations. Most of which were undergoing major changes, culminating in 14 years as CFO of small to medium sized organisations which included: National Gallery Publications Limited (publishing and retail), the Medici Society Ltd (Publishing), Philharmonia Ltd (orchestra management) and Marriott Hotel Supplies Ltd (hotel development) and Target Systems Limited (IT).   In 1996 I set up a specialist practice dedicated to providing Financial Management to start-up and early stage development businesses.  Clients included: hotel flooring specialists, loft conversion and extensions, wind turbine engineering and green energy systems, role-play training, school development worldwide, retail performance and sales process improvement.   Until setting up the business, I invested some of my own time in such activities as school governorship, running a local youth club, involvement in Young Enterprise and the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.   I am married to Sue, we have two children, both married, and two grandsons.

Lynne Wheatley  Having moved to East Devon in 2008, in 2013 my husband and I realised a long held, heartfelt, dream to live in Lyme Regis.   A career education professional, now working for a national education charity, I am particularly interested in  opportunities to improve the economic and social outcomes for all young people in Lyme Regis. I am excited about the opportunities we have to develop the Hub as a centre for all to value as an accessible, safe and dynamic space in town.   Lyme Regis provides an opportunity to explore and learn around every corner, l believe  we must exploit to the fullest those resources  to meet the needs of all our townsfolk, whilst protecting fiercely its authenticity and treasures


Sue Hodgetts  After graduating with an engineering degree, I began my career in the Research and Development department of Yorkshire Television, undertaking my training as an independent engineer at the BBC. I retrained as a teacher when my two sons were young, initially teaching Electronics and ICT at GCSE level before transferring to primary.  After I left in 2011 I set up my own website design business, which I currently run from home. When I first moved to Lyme I volunteered initially at LymeNet and then for the Fossil Festival, both LRDT initiatives, and since discovered the diverse work that the Trust does in order to improve the lives of those in the community.  This inspired me to take my involvement a step further and in June 2017 I was co-opted as a member of the Board.