Latest BID board member shares vision for ‘trailblazing’ town centre

An experienced hospitality expert overseeing the rebrand of one of Northampton’s best known hotels has outlined his vision for the high street having been appointed to the board of the town centre’s Business Improvement District.

James Simpson, hotel manager at the Northampton Town Centre Hotel – soon to become the four-star ‘Mercure Northampton’– will now work alongside a number of other business leaders to oversee the BID’s work as it looks to make the town centre a better place to work, live and visit.

He said: “With the current redevelopment works that are taking place, Northampton is a town that has an opportunity to really make a name for itself in the years to come and I’m looking forward to working closely with businesses to unlock that potential.

“The wealth of cultural heritage we have here is incredible and there is a real sense of pride from residents. Everyone wants to see the town get back on the up and we want to play a part in making sure that happens.

“Our town centres continue to evolve and we all need to work together to be ready for a reinvigorated, new look Northampton which will put us at the forefront of the 21st century town centre experience. We can be a real trailblazer – a beacon for other towns and cities to look up to.

“The changes we are making at the hotel sit perfectly alongside the ambitions of the BID. We want to celebrate all things ‘local’ and our new look rooms will champion various aspects of the town, featuring everything from the Market Square to the balloon festival.”

With an unprecedented period of change currently taking place in Northampton, the BID’s board is working closely with local authority partners to ensure the voice of business owners is heard throughout a programme of redevelopment works to reimagine the high street and surrounding areas.

Mark Mullen, operations manager of Northampton Town Centre BID, said: “We are delighted to welcome James to the board and look forward to working with him as we support businesses through this exciting time for our town centre.

“We know there continues to be many challenges for businesses as the redevelopment work goes on around them but we are supporting them every step of the way to ensure they are a part of our town centre for many years to come.

“We will continue to strive to deliver projects of value for our businesses that attract more people into our town centre.”

In March 2021, businesses voted in favour of renewing the BID for five more years until 2026, securing a significant £1.5 million to be spent on promoting the area.

Businesses pay an annual levy into a collective pot which is used to deliver the BID events, initiatives and projects in line with the BID Business Plan. The Board is governed by local business people who all give up their time as directors on a voluntary basis to help steer the project delivery.

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