“Luton BID launched seven years ago following a vote by local businesses and was renewed for a second five-year term in 2019. Its vision is to support business growth and investment in the town centre and build pride, loyalty and positive perception of Luton as a whole.
“An annual levy paid by BID businesses into a collective pot is used to steer worthwhile initiatives alongside Luton Council, The Mall and other town centre partners, whilst ensuring that these projects are over and above those services provided by the statutory authorities.
“I was appointed as BID Manager three months ago, and I have been reflecting on my time in post. I truly believe that the town centre is in an excellent position to bounce back and maximise future opportunities.
“My background is in retail management having worked for department stores across the country, including Luton, and most recently Store Manager of the Bedford Debenhams store before they closed. Working for an operational business in Luton means I really understand the priorities of local business owners.
“There are lots of Business Improvement Districts across the country, but I once worked as a store manager in a town that didn’t have one, and from a business perspective it feels very disjointed. In Luton, the BID helps foster a wonderful collaborative culture.
“Busy business owners need a representative voice to work on their behalf and resolve any problems. That’s where our Luton BID team comes in.
“We actively engage with key organisations and partners to address the issues raised by our businesses. We’re all about creating positive outcomes, and I will be sharing more detail on BID projects in future Luton News columns.
“My priority in these first few months has been understanding the variety of business issues and ensuring that everyone feels represented. I will be continuing this approach as we deliver our business plan.
“We proactively engage with our businesses and are here to listen to their concerns and ideas, or if they just need to speak to someone. More than just the representation, the BID offers real community support. I am proud to be part of that.”
By Julia Horsman, Luton BID Manager