UKIP chairman and North Devonian Steve Crowther was heavily involved in campaigning against a windfarm out in the Bristol Channel, and worked with the local CPRE group, as I described in a previous blog.
At that time I had singularly failed to find out much at all at Crowther’s pre-UKIP history. Thanks to help from friends, I have found out rather more.
Although I have found out nothing about Crowther during the 80s other than that he was a press officer for someone, and a trade journalist, he does appear in the record in 1991. At that time he joined Marketing firm Holmes Marchant, who now describe themselves as a brand design consultancy. Crowther was at Holmes Marchant for 10 years, and became a Director of a Subsidiary, Holmes Marchant Communications Limited, from 1995-2000.
In 2000 he left Holmes Marchant, with another H-M director, Fiona Shepherd, and they set up April-Six limited. April Six, a tech marketing company, was sold in 2007 to the Mission Marketing group. By the time it was sold it had 54 staff and Mission paid £9.55M for April Six, with another £9.45M if they performed as well as expected. Given that the crash happened before the second payment I don’t know whether it was paid, but Crowther and Shepherd would have done very well from the first payment, part of which was in H-M shares.
April Six provided consultancy marketing and comms services, to the software, reseller and telecomms industry. No, I don’t know what it means either.
Also, somewhat bizarrely, he was, for 9 months in 2001, Marketing Director of the Shark Trust, a conservation charity set up to conserve sharks rays and other elasmobranchs in the UK. But he appears to have been a trustee/director, rather than an employee director. Sadly Charities Commission online records don’t go back to 2001 for the Shark Trust which is a pity. If anyone can enlighten me about this episode in the Crowther story, I would appreciate it.
So it seems that Crowther made a small fortune providing marketing services to big players in the software and internet industries during the heady days after the dot com crash and before the credit crunch crash. And he has used his media/marketing nous to great effect, both as a campaigner against wind farms, as well as the brains behind the UKIP project.