Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) is delighted to announce the appointment of Nicola Bates as its new CEO

Nicola joins the trade association for English and Welsh Wine from her position as Director of Strategy and External Affairs at the Portman Group, the social responsibility and marketing body of the UK alcohol industry. Her appointment commences on 30th October 2023.

She brings to WineGB a unique combination of senior leadership experience from across politics, commercial consultancy, charity and membership bodies. With substantial experience across the disciplines of people, reputation and organisational strategy she will support WineGB and help drive the industry forward.

During her career Nicola has futureproofed and grown organisations, including having:

  • Enhanced membership value and support through crafted materials and a workable and effective structure
  • Worked with the Government at ministerial level, secured acknowledgment for the industry’s COVID-19 response, and created workable solutions for wine and other alcohol (notably on labelling), alcohol alternatives and the recent Scottish Government Marketing Consultation
  • Supported the development of original research including the annual YouGov Consumer Attitudes survey to help understand the future of novel product sectors, such as Low / No alcohol products
  • Oversaw a significant increase in practice revenue and supported the doubling of wider company growth as a Board Director, as well as having supported corporate reorganisations, and recruited over 100 senior leaders for diverse organisations including trade associations, companies and charities.
  • Advisor to Only a Pavement Away, a charity that connects the hospitality sector with employees who have been homeless, former service personnel or prisoners. Also a founder of a number of support networks, most recently being the Chair of the Women in Trade Associations Powerlist with the Federation of Small Businesses, Confederation of British Industry and the Trade Association Forum.

Nicola is WineGB’s first female CEO and she joins a substantial panel of women leading the association, with Sam Linter as the Chair and the whole executive team.

Comment from Nicola Bates, incoming CEO: “Others may disagree, but this has to be the best job in wine. With production having doubled over the past five years, and set again to repeat this substantial achievement, I am overjoyed to be a part of the next phase of growth for English and Welsh wines. The sector will likely soon face the challenges that come with such success, and this is where WineGB steps in with its significant role to shape the workforce, the customer experience, and the reputation. I look forward to meeting members, patrons, funders, and the wider industry to learn how WineGB can continue to be your partner and deliver for the future.”

Sam Linter, WineGB Chair comments: “I am delighted to appoint Nicola as the new CEO of WineGB. The WineGB Board were looking for a specific set of skills and experience that are required to deliver success for the organisation and industry as we enter a new phase of maturity. During an extensive recruitment process, Nicola demonstrated the experience and diverse skillset required to run a growing trade association with a rapidly increasing external focus.

“We look forward to introducing Nicola into the UK wine industry and have an intensive immersion planned to provide a strong grounding in the strategic imperatives and intricacies of our industry and organisation.

“I look forward to seeing Nicola deliver our strategic pillars of Leadership, Member Services, Growth and Sustainability, and wish her every success in her new role. Welcome to WineGB.”

Nicola Bates (left) with WineGB Chair, Sam Linter (right)


Notes to Editors

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Pen career biography Nicola Bates:

  • Portman Group – Director of Strategy and External Affairs November 2018 – October 2023
  • Ellwood Atfield (recruitment consultancy) – Board Director June 2010 – November 2018
  • Other experiences: MHP Communications (policy and media consultancy), Institution of Civil Engineers and Federation of Master Builders.
  • Chair of the Women in Trade Associations Women’s Powerlist 2023 –
  • Advisor to the charity Only a Pavement Away 2021 –
  • Elected Governor for Kings College Hospital Trust. Exposed to the business planning, metrics and divisional strategies of an organisation operating a turnover of £1.1bn 2016 – 2019
  • Founder of IVFyes, a patient campaign seeking to expand IVF provision in the NHS 2013 – 2016