Getting to know you: Lucinda Jennings

What do you currently do?
I am property and development Director for Bayford & Co, based at grade II listed Bowcliffe Hall, Bramham.  I manage a mixed portfolio of office, industrial, residential, retail and agricultural property holdings.

I’ve played a key role in a pioneering £6m restoration programme at Bowcliffe Hall which pays tribute to unsung aviation pioneer Robert Blackburn – the first Yorkshireman to design and build a powered aeroplane. The centrepiece of the scheme comprises the multi award winning Blackburn Wing – a 2,060 sq. ft treehousecopper and glass conference venue shaped like an airplane wing which accommodates 140 guests. Bowcliffe Hall is the ancestral home of the Blackburns who played host to guests including aircraft pioneers, media proprietors, RAF officials and national politicians such as Amy Johnson, Lord Northcliffe and Winston Churchill.

What is your inspiration in the business?
To keep the ‘to do’ list to a maximum of twenty items.  Any more I’ve lost control, any less and I’m missing something. 

Who do you admire?  
I quite admire my boss, but don’t print this because he has a massive ego and it will only get worse!  He is serial entrepreneur Jonathan Turner, a ‘calculated risk taker’, who led a family buy out FAMBO of his father’s business in 2004. His diverse companies in the Bayford Group span property, oil distribution, luxury holiday homes in Scotland along with the high profile BE Fuelcards and The Right Fuelcard Company. Jonathan spearheaded the Bowcliffe Hall restoration project which also includes a Drivers’ Club private members club for business tenants and guests and captures the golden age of motoring. 

Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
No for the simple reason I didn’t chose to go into property, it was good luck, so anything that happened was just part of a journey – I just held on and enjoyed the ride. I’ve loved all the adventures along the way.

What defines your way of doing business?  
I manage a busy portfolio so I propose sensible solutions, explain why they are sensible solutions – and usually find that progress can be made. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
You have come into a profession where, if you play it right, you will laugh, cry (more usually through laughter) and make friends for life, and all in the name of business.