A CITY centre manager has been appointed by a group aiming to transform Chester’s commercial centre.
Peter Lewis, 61, has been announced as the Chester city centre manager for the CH1 Chester BID (Business Improvement District) Company, a collection of leading Chester businesses working together to reinvigorate the city.
Mr Lewis boasts a long career in local authorities including city centre management roles in Liverpool and Manchester. He has already started work.
Paul Daniels, chairman of CH1 Chester BID Company and managing director of thebestofchester, said: “We have always maintained having one coherent voice to speak for Chester’s business community is essential and, in Peter, we have found someone who can deliver that one hundred per cent.
“Peter is the ideal man for the job. His experience on previous successful BIDS makes him a tremendous asset to the team, and we’re confident he will help us to secure that all important yes vote come June 2014.”
Mr Lewis said: “I’m delighted to be offered this role and work alongside such an exciting and dynamic team.
“I’ve been so impressed with the sense of positivity and commitment from all those involved in the management of the city centre and the efforts currently being seen in the implementation of a BID.
“Chester has struggled in recent years, as have many other cities. The economic downturn and other major factors have clearly had a detrimental effect on our city centres but Chester remains a wonderful place to live, shop and visit and it’s a pleasure to come here and work on an initiative to re-energise such a beautiful city.
“I’ve seen firsthand the benefits a successful city centre management service can bring to a city and how a city can thrive when a BID is introduced. I would encourage all the businesses in the proposed BID area to consider the power a collective voice will give to the city if we all work together.”
Jointly funded by CWaC and the private sector companies Mr Lewis’ role will involve working closely with businesses across the city centre to hear first hand what their priorities are and what changes they want to see. Mr Lewis will work together with the CH1 Chester BID Company as the city moves towards a BID ballot in June.
In June, businesses within a designated area of the city centre will be asked to vote on whether or not to pay a one per cent levy on top of their business rates, to go back into the city to make the improvements businesses agree are needed.
For more information about CH1 Chester BID Company and the plans for a BID in Chester, visit www.ch1chesterbid.co.uk.