WAKEFIELD Business Improvement District (BID) has hired two ambassadors as part of its commitment to make the city centre a better place to do business.
Megan Davies and Caroline Briggs joined the team incognito at the start of the year and have spent their first month getting to know businesses so they are able to sign post visitors around the city centre.
Both local women, Megan is from Pinders Heath and Caroline lives in Havercroft, the pair will be employed in the WF1 area to welcome visitors, keep levy payers informed of developments and news, gather information to share with the BID’s stakeholders and be visible as part of the plan to make the streets safer.
Although they have no law enforcement capabilities, that is still the mandatory job of West Yorkshire Police and PCSO’s, they will be additional eyes and ears able to highlight issues such as anti-social behavior, litter and vandalism that can deter from Wakefield city centre.
“The BID’s commitment is to make Wakefield city centre more attractive and welcoming, safer and cleaner and a better place to do business,” said BID manager, Elizabeth Murphy.
“Levy payers said they wanted ambassadors who would be visible and a conduit for improved communications for visitors, amongst themselves and with statutory bodies. Both Megan and Caroline impressed us at interview with their passion and enthusiasm for the role and Wakefield city centre.
“Both local women they already knew many businesses and have a depth of knowledge about services that will be valuable to visitors who have never been to the city before but also to businesses.
“Megan and Caroline have already attended an accredited training course and joined our first Make A Difference day where volunteers from local businesses and the board started foundation work to enable city centre improvements in the spring.”
The Ambassadors have already brought huge publicity to Wakefield's city centre, with Ridings FM interviewing them outside Wakefield Cathedral. In case you missed it, catch a sneak peak of what they had to say about their Pride, Passion and Partnership approach towards improving Wakefield. Turn up your volume to listen:
Mrs Murphy was keen to point out that the pair will provide additional services to those already offered by statutory agencies such as the police and PCSOs.
“They will not be tackling issues that the local authority or police are responsible for but providing a vital information service for businesses to connect them to visitors.It is this additionality that the BID is all about,” she added.
Already their appointment has been greeted enthusiastically by local business who welcomed their high visibility presence in the city centre during the day and early evenings.
Andy Sherwood, manager of Wilko’s store said: “It's great to see the work been undertaken by the BID, and the new Ambassadors add a visual presence to the town. The hope is that this presence encourages visitors to make multiple trips into the city.
While Lynne Thompson, of Created in Yorkshire added: “It's a massive step forward for Wakefield BID having the Ambassadors working in the city centre. I have had some real positive feed back from levy payers since Megan and Caroline joined the team. I can't wait for the coming months as we have lots of great things happening and we’re putting Wakefield back as a great place to visit and spend time.”