A top banker has been appointed as the new chairman of Broad Street Business Improvement District (BID) in Birmingham.
Martin French, a local CEO of the RBS bank, was announced chairman at the organisation’s annual general meeting last week.
Mr French, who has been an active director of the BID for over two years, has worked in Birmingham since 2003 and represents some 6,000 RBS staff across the city.
He also has operational responsibility for the NatWest branch network in Birmingham and Solihull.
He became chairman when Gary Taylor stepped down after nine years, during which time the organisation was launched and became established as one of the first entertainment BIDs in the UK.
“Strong foundations to build upon”
Speaking about his vision for his new BID role, Mr French said: “We have already developed strong foundations which we will continue to build upon.
“As we prepare for our second re-ballot to approve a third, five-year term, and my role will be heavily focused on listening to our member businesses and their requirement for BID3.
“As the Broad Street BID area evolves, I plan to move towards fully representing our diverse range of leisure and professional services, the latter of which now forms a substantial 41% of our membership.”
“It is the right time to hand over”
In his handover to the new chairman, Mr Taylor said: “It is the right time to hand over to a new chairman and deputy chairman ahead of the next ballot of businesses in 2014. I am delighted that Martin, as CEO of the largest business in the BID area, has agreed to lead the BID into the future.
“It has been a privilege to be chairman for the last nine years. The area has seen a significant upturn in investment, as we welcomed the £189 million new Library of Birmingham – already increasing footfall by up to 20% into Centenary Square – and Deutsche Bank has made a significant commitment to the area by completing one of the largest office letting deals in the UK at Five Brindleyplace.
“We have worked hard to get the basics right, making the area brighter, safer and cleaner, but potentially our most important initiative to date has seen the BID conceive the idea of a new rapid transport system for Birmingham – Birmingham Sprint. The BID has also been instrumental in forming a partnership with other BIDs, the council and Centro to initiate its delivery.”
Mr Taylor added: “The first Birmingham Sprint route is planned to run along Broad Street and will complement the recently announced extension of the Midland Metro into Centenary Square”
Sprint and Metro extension into Centenary Square
Mr Taylor acknowledged the Broad Street BID team, thanking Broad Street manager Mike Olley, marketing manager Nichole Samuels, the warden team, partners and BID levy contributors for their support over years.
Mr French will be accompanied by deputy chairman Mr John Mc Dermott, who has been an active director of the BID for over a year.
The re-ballot of Broad Street BID is to be held towards the end of 2014 and, if successful, will mean the BID can operate until at least 2020