After an extensive search across the UK for the right candidate, Banbury’s Business Improvement District (BID) now has a manager in place.
Kate Nesbitt started her new role on March 5 although the BID will not officially come into being until Sunday, April 1.
Mrs Nesbitt is no stranger to BIDs or event planning, which the Banbury BID is to focus on, having worked for one of the two Plymouth BIDs.
Mrs Nesbitt said: “I came from the Plymouth city centre BID but have recently moved to Hertfordshire as it was a fixed term contract.”
Living about an hour away down the M1, Mrs Nesbitt sees her unfamiliarity with Banbury as a positive.
She said: “There will always be people who say ‘she doesn’t live here so what does she know’, but actually I knew Banbury from years ago.
“From 17 I have always driven and I loved it and we would jump in a car and drive places, so it was normal to come to Oxfordshire and Banbury .
She adds: “What struck me was ‘why haven’t I come back? It’s got a fantastic history, so that hit me first.
“While coming to the interviews I had a good look around to try and work out what wasn’t being hit on.”
The lack of a dedicated Banbury website was one such missing element and Kate is already in the process of creating one.
She said: “Nothing on the internet told me about the fantastic independents (shops) on Parsons Street and in the old town, a butcher that has queues down the street. None of that is found and that really hit me.”
In addition to spreading the word on the world wide web Kate and the BID Board will work in tandem with Banbury Town Council and Cherwell District Council to help embellish existing town centre events and fill entertainment niches not already catered for.
The BID, however, will not take up any perceived slack from governing councils, instead spending the roughly £200,000 per year on new events, services and promotion.
Kate said: “I’ve come into a town that is actually fab.
“It’s a beautiful town and it just needs to be shouted about really.”