Several new faces are set to join Liverpool BID Company’s Commercial District BID operating board, it has been announced.

Stepping up to their new role are Matthew Ashton, director and chartered architect, MgMaStudio Ltd; Mark Blankstone, owner, Blankstone Opticians; Emma Carey, managing director, MSB Solicitors; Teleri Davies, head of events, Downtown in Business; Andrew Kingsley, director, Kingsley Recruitment; James Kirk, managing director, Kaleidoscope; Phil Malthouse, board member, Brock Carmichael architects; Ian McCarthy, director, Liverpool Vision; and Andy Webster, consultant, MHA Moore and Smalley. Sue Darwell, area property manager at Bruntwood, also joins the board, replacing Colin Forshaw, Bruntwood regional director.

They join the current board members led by chair, Julie Johnson, partner at Morecrofts Solicitors, and newly-appointed deputy chair, Sean Keyes, from Sutcliffe, and a dedicated BID team led by Liverpool BID Company chief executive, Bill Addy. Commercial District BID incorporates the area in and around Castle Street, Old Hall Street and St Paul’s Square, and is the commercial core of the city, home to many of our professional and financial services sectors, and a key contributor to the city region economy.

Bill Addy, chief executive, Liverpool BID Company, welcomed the new members and commented:

“Our new board members share in our vision and ambition to improve the city centre for all – making it a cleaner, safer and thriving environment which is attractive to investors, developers, established commercial businesses and which encourages the creation and growth of new businesses. Their appointment to the board is a reflection of business commitment to the BID, and their level of expertise fills me with great confidence as we step into 2019. I would like to personally welcome them into the BID family.

“We are doing some great work across the Commercial District BID – including the BID Street Rangers, which began earlier this year – and the vision that we set out in our 2016-2021 Commercial District BID business plan, including £3.5m worth of investment, is fast being rolled out.

“We will continue to build upon this throughout 2019, supporting our levy payers and helping safeguard the future growth of the district through our investment in the Commercial District SRF (Spatial Regeneration Framework). Among its many ambitions, this exciting masterplan aims to address the city’s lack of Grade A office space, to attract investment into the area and promote sustainable employment, and improve its connectivity with other key developments across the city region, including Liverpool Waters. We will be working with the city council and our partners in the private sector to realise this vision over the coming years.”

Julie Johnson, who assumed the role of chair of Commercial District BID operating board in May, added:

“I would like to welcome our new board members, and I look forward to working with them to build on the work the BID has already done in the Commercial District since the new term began.

“Our levy payers continue to see the huge benefits brought by the additional services provided by the BID Street Rangers and the BID Safety Partnership initiatives, in which we work closely with our partners at Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Police.

“The BID Street Rangers launched in response to a call from BID levy payers for additional street cleansing and maintenance across the BID areas. Strong footfall and an environment fit to trade is vital to their success, and this new investment helps meet that demand. The rangers have also become a familiar, friendly face among our levy payers.”

Today’s announcement comes following a successful and busy year for the Commercial District BID.

Exciting art and animation – including the unveiling of the Liverpool Plinth back in April, Celebrating Castle Street and Food & Drink Week, and the Christmas decorations – continues to encourage more visitors into the area. This forms part of the BID’s place-making strategy to raise the profile of the Commercial District within a city region context, as a destination to visit, live, work and invest in by working with its levy payers and organisations such as Liverpool Biennial and Marketing Liverpool. Liverpool BID Company also continues to facilitate support for businesses within the district, with an emphasis on business growth and employee wellbeing initiatives and training.

Sister BID – Retail & Leisure BID – has also enjoyed a successful 2018, most notably its triumphant Ballot win in the summer, when 66% of levy payers voted yes for a fourth BID term, to operate until 2023, representing a huge vote of confidence in the ongoing work the BID does to improve the city’s main shopping district in and around Bold Street, Church Street, Williamson Square, Metquarter and Mathew Street.