Ruth Duston OBE, OC

Ruth is Primera’s founder and Chief Executive, and has spent over 30 years influencing and implementing programmes of social and economic benefit, from neighborhood regeneration and community capacity building through to place based strategies and the creation and implementation of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). Since she established Primera in 2004 the company has undertaken several commissions for some of the key landowners in central and outer London, which includes Argent, Land Sec and the Cadogan Estate.

Over the years Primera has built a significant reputation as place-based leaders and enablers of change. It has a specialism in driving value through partnership and this has positioned Ruth a key spokesperson and thought leader in London. In 2018 she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to the London Business community.

Ruth has over 25 years’ experience of managing Boards, working at both a policy/strategic level and operationally. In 2014 she was appointed as Chair of Governors for Westminster Kingsway College, one of London’s more successful colleges with a turnover of over £40m and student population of 14,000. In 2016, she led the Board of Governors and college through a merger with City and Islington College, creating Capital City College Group – making it the second-largest Further Education College in the country with over 25,000 students and a combined income of £85m.

Ruth has been a Board Director of the Guards Museum since 2013, and is currently Chair of the Management Committee, and was fundamental in raising over £100k for the Flanders Field Memorial Garden. In December 2017 she was awarded the Order of the Crown by the King of Belgium for her services to fundraising.

Using her policy experience, she has negotiated a number of projects and partnerships across London and the East of England, generating successful income generation to deliver transformational schemes, such as Strand/Aldwych.