Rugby First's new boss wants to look at new ways to boost the town centre

Rich Warren.
Rich Warren.

Rugby First’s new boss is planning to look at new ways the group can support businesses in the town centre.

Previous managing director Aftab Gaffar left the organisation after 13 years – he has been replaced by Rich Warren, who will work as the operations director.

A spokesperson for Rugby First said: “Rich is an experienced business relationship manager and qualified business mentor.

“He has been supporting businesses across Rugby for the last four years in his previous role with the CWLEP Growth Hub.

“The Growth Hub has supported over 300 Rugby businesses with their growth plans during his time there and he was one of the founders and chair of the Rugby Drive Collaborative business initiative.”

Mr Warren said: “I am passionate about Rugby. It is a great place to live and do business and I am keen to make a difference in my new role.

“Key priorities for me will be ensuring a smooth transition that continues to deliver quality services in line with the existing mandate, engaging with town centre businesses to understand how best Rugby First can support them now and in the future, working with key local stakeholders to investigate opportunities to improve the town centre as a place for people to do business, live, shop, socialise and to understand what support town centre businesses need to be successful and where they can find that help.”

Mr Warren said Mr Gaffar had done a good job in supporting businesses in the town centre through what he describes as ‘extremely challenging economic times’.

Under Mr Gaffar’s management, Rugby First introduced the town’s rangers and cleaning team.

Rugby First has also played a significant part in the organising of a number of events including Rugby Bikefest, Rugby Food Festival and the Christmas lights switch-on.