Our Team

Preston Benson
Preston is the Founder and visionary behind Really Local Group™.

In 2005 he moved to London and became acutely aware that the majority of developers who claimed themselves to be 'regenerators' were actually developing sites with a 'top down' approach, with little real consultation with the locals as to what they really wanted for the area, and with very little ‘social conscience’. This was leading to identikit high streets and a clear neglect of localism.

New to the London property market, Preston wanted to break this mould, to deliver true regeneration and to shake up cultural development by launching venues that would truly have the local community’s best interests at its core.
Kathryn Smith
Director of Operations
Kathyrn has 20 years experience in the industry. She ran key sites for both Odeon and Vue in before being snapped up by Cineworld to run their flagship site, Picturehouse Central which she did successfully for 4 years. In her most recent role, Kathryn was hired to mobilise, open and manage the brand new Chiswick Cinema. Her role involved building the team, operation and product range.
Jennie Double
Commercial Director
Jennie carries an extensive 20+ years in the events and entertainment industry, specialising in strategic commercial optimisation. Her previous roles held the overall objective of raising awareness, profile, driving footfall and commercialising consumer facing venues through secondary spends. Previous experience have included, ExCeL London, The O2, Dreamland Margate and tvg hospitality.
Max Astaire
Head of Finance
After graduating from University of Manchester with a chemical engineering degree, Max qualified as a chartered accountant while working in audit. Here he gained experience in a variety of industries including retail, commodity trading and hospitality. In 2017 he moved to Compass Group, the world’s largest food services company. At Compass he had a series of roles in its education division, the most recent as finance lead for the University business, responsible for over 30 sites made up over 200+ catering outlets.
Rich Linford
Food & Beverage Manager
Rich has 20 years' experience spanning all sectors of the hospitality industry from restaurants and bars to cinema and leisure. His most recent role was with Everyman Cinema as Head of F&B where he oversaw the development of the food and beverage programs across the group and supported their growth from 10 to 35 venues.
Chloe Beale
Programme & Marketing Manager
Chloe began working in the creative industries as a freelance producer and director, collaborating with various theatre companies and producing venues in Manchester's vibrant independent theatre scene. In 2019, she joined multi-arts venue HOME, where she transitioned into the Marketing and Communications team, specialising in film promotion. Additionally, Chloe is an independent film producer. With experience spanning different aspects of the film industry, as well as being an avid film watcher, Chloe’s perspective enables her to effectively collaborate with venues, engaging audiences and strategically marketing their film programmes.