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Sarah Naylor

Please tell us briefly about your career to date and what you are most proud of achieving

"I began working at Atherton Godfrey LLP as a trainee solicitor in 2005. I qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and worked my way up through the firm, becoming a Partner in 2017. Since that time I have been head of the Commercial and Property Department at the firm. In January 2021 we merged with Switalskis Solicitors, and though I have retained my role as Partner and Head of Commercial and Property at Atherton Godfrey, I am now also a Director of Switalskis. This has been a really positive time and has created many opportunities for me personally and for the firm. The achievement I am most proud of, is having steered my department and the firm through the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, enabling my teams to continue delivering an excellent service to our clients whilst all other aspects of life were being disrupted."


What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Doncaster businesses today?

"I think one of the biggest challenges for Doncaster businesses is attracting and retaining staff with the right skill set. All too often businesses struggle to attract the right candidates and if they do succeed in this, all too often rising stars and highly skilled staff are difficult to retain. The challenge lies in part due to our close proximity to the bright lights of nearby cities such as Sheffield and Doncaster. A continued focus on the development of Doncaster’s economy, town centre, and all that the town (hopefully soon to be City!) has to offer should help businesses be able to attract and retain people."


What is the best thing about Doncaster and what do you think are the borough’s biggest opportunities?

"One of the best things about Doncaster is undoubtedly it’s hard working attitude to getting things done – “cracking on” to use our motto. There are many success stories for Doncaster over recent years that are as a result of people having drive, not giving up and seeking the best for our town. Examples to name but a few – the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Great Yorkshire Way, the UTC, the airport… the list goes on. The biggest opportunity for the borough is the fact that we are a rapidly growing centre for business – we are ideally placed, have great transport links and have big businesses already operating in the area. This type of growth will hopefully only attract further investment to enable continued growth and expansion, for which we have the space and ambition to house. A huge opportunity for the town is to continue to develop its transport links and accessibility to the airport."


What would you like Doncaster Chamber’s priorities to be for the next 12 months?

  • Continued focus on the education sector to build links and relationships between Doncaster’s students and local businesses, to drive and develop talent that we retain in the borough;
  • Driving and supporting development plans for Doncaster town centre to restore it to a thriving hub;
  • Driving and supporting Doncaster in its City Status bid;
  • Driving and supporting the further development of Doncaster’s rail network to extend out to the Airport.
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