Binns in as BID manager

FORMER journalist Simon Binns will lead Manchester’s first Business Improvement District when it launches later this month.

The 35-year-old, whose career includes stints at the BBC, the now defunct Crains Manchester Business and most recently property title Estates Gazette, will liaise with city centre retailers, which fund the BID, with the aim of increasing footfall and retail spend.

The BID,  which covers an area from King Street to Manchester Arndale and takes in Cross St, St Ann’s Square, New Cathedral Street, Market Street and part of Deansgate, will deliver a customer service and promotional initiatives worth £1m a year, over the next five years.

In total 380 businesses in total are in the BID, and only those with a rateable value of over £50,000 or higher are members.

Mr Binns said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with the retail community to make a real difference.  We want to keep Manchester one step ahead and the BID will ensure we do this by allowing us to plan and deliver events and activity that will make the city centre even more attractive to visitors.

“I will be working on behalf of the retailers to ensure the BID activity has a direct impact on their bottom line and that it reflects the ambitions and aspirations of Manchester city centre.”

Jane Sharrocks, general manager of Selfridges’ Manchester city centre store and chair of the BID company said: “It’s great to have Simon on board to drive this new initiative forward.

“He‘s in tune with how Manchester works and knows the retail and wider business community well. His energy and drive will be vital in bringing forward this ambitious programme of activity designed to ensure continued economic prosperity for the city.”