THE chairman of Bradford’s new Business Improvement District says it’s “raring to go” following the appointment of its board of directors.
Ian Ward, general manager of The Broadway shopping centre, was elected chairman at the BID’s inaugural meeting yesterday after the 21 volunteer directors were voted on to the operating board.
Mr Ward, who led the BID development team through the two-year campaign to establish the BID, said: “I think it’s a real testament to the passion and commitment that many city centre businesses have for Bradford that we had far more volunteers for the board than we could accommodate.
“We have a great team in place, representing every sector of business and other key partners – including the University of Bradford, Bradford College and the National Science and Media Museum – as well as a wide range of management and business skills.
“We also have a much wider group of supporters who, we know, will be very heavily involved in bringing the ideas and projects outlined in the Business Plan to fruition.
“We obviously have the very busiest time of the year for retail and many other businesses ahead of us and there are lots of other details to put in place before we can really get stuck in. But the board is raring to go and we’ll be hitting the ground running in the new year!”
One of the board’s first tasks will be to appoint a BID manager and a project officer to manage its work on a day-to-day basis and interviews take place next week.
“Hopefully, we’ll have the staff in place in time for us to make an early start on our first projects,” said Mr Ward. “But the key priority is to find the right people with the right passion and belief in the city to ensure we do our best for Bradford with the trust that’s been placed in us.”
Nearly 80 per cent of participating city centre businesses, representing 85 per cent of the total rateable value of the city centre, voted in favour of setting up the BID, which will operate for an initial five-year term.
The levy on the 630 businesses included in the BID zone, along with voluntary contributions from supporting organisations such as Bradford City football club, will raise more than £2.5 million to be spent on city centre improvements.
Under the Safe, Clean, Alive and Promoted pillars, the BID will work on improving the cleanliness and general appearance of the city centre, help to ensure it feels safe and inviting, organise and support new attractions and events, market and promote the city to local, regional and national audiences and provide a voice for businesses to lobby for more investment and other improvements.
The full board of directors elected this week is: Ian Ward; Mark Cowgill (joint deputy chair), of Exa Networks; Sandy Needham (joint deputy chair), Bradford Chamber; Catherine Riley, The Kirkgate Centre; Sonny Sharma, Sharma Williamson; Lynne Langan, Marks & Spencer; David Crossley, Midland Hotel; Natasha Eastwood, Boots; Si Cunningham, Bradford Civic Society; Kamran Rashid, 30 Chapel Street; Brian Cantor, University of Bradford; Catherine Furlong, British Land; Inspector Beth Pagnillo, West Yorkshire Police; Diana Greenwood, Visit Bradford; Dean Loughran, NS+MM; Dave Downes, The Broadway; Dawn Leak, Bradford College; Paula Watson, Bradford City AFC; Nick Quin, Yorkshire Building Society; Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council; Adrian Deluca, Mario’s Hairdressers.
Nick Chamberlain, of Gordons LLP, was appointed company secretary.