Our Alchemists

Kate Priestley

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Kate Priestley has been described as “the most powerful woman in construction.”

At the time she was chief executive of NHS Estates, an executive agency of the department of Health where she was responsible for managing one of Europe’s largest property portfolios. Under her leadership NHS Estates more than doubled its turnover, increased its consultancy business from £1.1m to £12.6 m and increased customer satisfaction from 17 to 87 per cent.

But her career has been far broader than health and property services. Kate is an experienced chair and chief executive who has formidable private and public sector board level experience.

She was vice-chairman of the Scarborough Building Society, for nine years where she oversaw a business transformation programme that resulted in increased assets and profits. She was the first Chairman of the Leadership Centre for Local Government. She was responsible for creating the board and governance arrangements and successfully secured the initial and then continuing funding.

Her other experience includes Chairman of Island Health Charitable Trust, non-executive director of Government Office North East, Chairman, standing committee for Structural Safety, non-executive adviser to Peacocks Medical Group and a member of Sector Skills Council Government.

Presently she is a Council member of Newcastle University, Chairman Of Inspired Spaces, construction) Chairman Of Shared Interest (Financial Services) and chairman Of Mental Health North East and its subsidiary CENE