The Business On: Alison Nimmo, chief executive at the Crown Estate

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The Independent Online

The Queen's property guru?

That would be right, yes. Ms Nimmo was named yesterday to run the Crown Estate, which is about £7bn worth of property around the country, making her one of the UK's largest landlords.



Big job.

From office blocks and retail space in Central London to more than half of the UK's foreshore, she will be responsible for looking after the portfolio and squeezing out some revenues for the Treasury.



She must be a highly favoured civil servant.

One of the most highly-favoured, in fact. She is presently director of design and regeneration at the Olympics Deliverance Unit, where she is one of only 291 civil servants paid more than the Prime Minister. (She took home £230,000 last year and was dubbed one of the "Olympic Gold Diggers" by one of the nation's crueller newspapers.)



You mean the Olympics

Delivery Authority.

Oops. That programme 2012 really is very cheeky, isn't it?



So what's her CV like?

Just great. In fact, the Queen is already a fan, having made Ms Nimmo a CBE for her services to urban regeneration.



Oh yes?

She was born in Swansea but went to Manchester University, and it was in that city that she made her mark. She was the project director of Manchester Millennium, a partnership set up to transform the city after the IRA bomb there in 1996. It is work she is very proud of. "I still go back to Manchester and I pinch myself every time," she once said.

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