THE NEXT five years represent “an unmissable opportunity” to breathe new life back into Northampton town centre, says the new co-chair of the town’s Business Improvement District.
Kerry Reynolds was voted in to help oversee Northampton Town Centre BID’s plans to revitalise the town’s fortunes as it embarks on a new five-year term. The area director for Metro Bank in the town has been a BID director since 2018.
In March, 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.
Now is the time to inject a renewed sense of optimism, pride and purpose in the town as the UK emerge from the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns, says Ms Reynolds.
“We are starting to see the economy open back up after an incredibly difficult period and this is a key point in both our immediate and long-term futures.
“People are looking forward to getting back out in our town centre and supporting their favourite businesses and that enthusiasm, coupled with the exciting investment plans detailed in the Northampton Forward and Towns Fund proposals, represents an unmissable opportunity to really make a difference to Northampton.”
Ms Reynolds will serve alongside her co-chair Andrea Smith, head of business services at Franklins Solicitors. “Kerry is hugely talented and I am very excited to be working alongside such a well-reputed local business leader,” she said.
“We have a lot of work to do post-pandemic and I cannot wait to get started with Kerry and the rest of the BID team.”
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 board directors on a voluntary basis.
Ms Reynolds said: “It is an exceptional place to do business with a community that cares deeply about the town. We want to channel that passion and give businesses and residents a town centre to truly be proud of.
“Through a business-led programme of investment, we will continue to work with all stakeholders to define, develop and promote the identity of Northampton town centre which reflects its strengths, characteristics and heritage and is a sustainable and vibrant place which generates pride for its businesses, local residents, and visitors.”
Ms Reynolds succeeds Brendan Bruder, who has stepped down. Mr Bruder, managing director of property consultants Abbey Ross, will remain as a BID director.
“His support and contribution over the course of his tenure was unwavering and we are grateful that he will remain as a board director,” said BID operations manager Mark Mullen.
“We know the last 12 months have been challenging for many businesses but as an organisation we are committed to making our town centre thrive. Northampton has so much to offer and we want to showcase to residents the brilliant businesses and facilities they have on their doorstep.”