Local business leader honoured by University
25 July 2023
Local family business director and rural life advocate, Simon Carter, has received a Distinguished Fellowship from the University of Reading.
Mr Carter is the managing director for Carter and Son Ltd, an almost 200 year old family-run marquee business based in Thatcham. He was awarded the Distinguished Fellowship in a ceremony on Tuesday 18 July for his long-standing support of the University’s Open Day and Graduation events, thanks to the marquees provided by his company.
In addition to marquee hire, Carter and Son Ltd had a retail shop in Reading selling snow and mountain sports equipment and clothing, and a factory producing industrial textiles such as marquees and tarpaulins.
Mr Carter has had a long association with the University, first coming to campus in the early 1970s, aged six, to help his father erect the marquees and set up the furniture needed for graduation.
Fiona Blair, Director of Marketing, Communication and Engagement, said: “Under Simon’s directorship, Carter and Son became a critical partner in the delivery of many of our University’s most important events and celebrations, enabling the transformation of our prospective student experience and playing a vital role in helping us host Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at a community garden party for 4000 people to mark the diamond jubilee.”
Over the years Mr Carter has been involved with a number of charities, including the Newbury and District Agricultural Society, where he also served as President. It was during this time that he was instrumental in enabling the University to take part in the Royal County of Berkshire Show over a number of years.
In 2012, Mr Carter was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire.
With his passion for and commitment to promoting all aspects of rural life, Mr Carter sits on the Committee for The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), which is owned by the University of Reading.
He is also a founder director and trustee of the biennial Goring & Streatley Arts Festival, as well as being a trustee of the Heart of Streatley Charitable Trust, which was set up to manage nine acres of Berkshire chalk downland.
Blair continued: “Simon’s immense knowledge, spirit of enterprise and innovation and his vast network of connections across our community have made him a very good friend to the University for many years. Today is our opportunity to celebrate all he has done to support us and to say thank you.”