Venues are big business for Julia Dalley. That’s because she is Head of Sales, PR and Marketing for The Speratus Group, a leisure group launched in 2009 by Executive Chairman Garreth Wood and embracing venues, clubs and restaurants in the Granite City and Edinburgh. Said Julia: ‘In Aberdeen, we have Illicit Still, The Boozy Cow, Paramount Bar, Amicus Apple and Nox while in Edinburgh we have 99 Hanover Street, The Golf Tavern and The Boozy Cow number two in the capital’s Frederick Street.
‘Our second Boozy Cow, which opened in March 2015, was a fantastic project to be part of rebranding a venue to a completely different concept. This included logo development, social media, website, all marketing collateral and point of sale. We have achieved up to 10,000 page likes on Facebook and we have only been open two months which was a great success in engaging Edinburgh with our new concept! We have introduced dining in a funky, edgy, urban environment and are open until 1am seven days a week offering juicy burgers which are made on the premises fresh every morning by our talented team, unique craft beers selection and boozylicious cocktails.’
Discussing what Julia has planned for all 8 venues in Scotland, she said ‘2015 has started off as a really exciting year for The Speratus Group with the addition of a new venue. Currently I am planning summer which includes The Fringe for our Edinburgh venues, Fresher’s Week, Oil Week and even Christmas party nights! With the variety of venues in the group we have many options for the perfect event, when you hold your event with us we do all we can to make it a success!’
The leisure industry is in Julia’s blood. She and her two sisters and brother grew up in the hotel industry from Devon to Dumfries, thanks to their English mum and Welsh dad, who also served in the RAF. She has packed in shedloads of experience in a number of spheres, starting with two years in business banking with HBOS, four years with Aviva, including a stint in Bangalore as an offshore trainer, a year as Business Finance Manager at Volkswagen/Audi dealership and three years as an Assistant Event Manager at Hilton Dunked House Hotel in Perthshire.
However, before joining The Speratus Group in October 2014 and basing herself in Aberdeen, Julia did three years as Conference and Events Sales Manager with Murrayfield Experience at the iconic BT Murrayfield Stadium. Said Julia, ‘Murrayfield is the largest conference and hospitality venue in the East of Scotland with 36 individual event suites. I sold, event managed and designed some of Scotland’s most prestigious events including conferences, events, concerts, glitterfest, rugby match day hospitality for the Autumn Tests and Six Nations. On an international fixture such as Six Nations Scotland vs. England, we provided hospitality for up to 5,000 people.’
She also met her frontier agronomist boyfriend, Charlie Catto, at Murrayfield in November 2013, after Scotland played Australia in the Autumn Test Internationals and they have set up house in Aberdeen where Charlie plays for Aberdeenshire Rugby Club.
Said Julia: ‘Speratus are a business that hopes to change the world for the better. If we can go some way to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances or their environment, then it has been all worth it. To that end, Garreth Wood has donated to a number of charities since 2009 including VSA, British Heart Foundation, When You Wish Upon A Star, Princes Trust and the Archie Foundation.
Look out for two more Speratus venues in Scotland by the end of 2015.