Having been ratified in November with a 67 per cent approval, the Business Improvement District (BID) is forging ahead and now has an appointed board.
The first meeting since the November ballot was held on Thursday, January 18 at Banbury Town Hall with the sole purpose of creating a BID board comprising of up to 16 volunteer company directors.
The board can only be formed from levy paying business representatives and will be responsible for overseeing the financial, managerial and operational activities of the BID.
In addition the BID board will have two non-voting members who will take up observational roles and will act as conduits between the town and district councils and the Banbury and District Chamber of Commerce.
A non-voting company secretary was also approved who will oversee the efficient administration of the BID company with particular emphasis on ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.
The meeting was well attended with upwards of 30 business owners and representatives from a variety of sectors.
In all 15 voluntary board directors were appointed representing five sectors: independent retailers, professional and office based businesses, national retial outlets, the leisure and evening sector and service providers.
In addition a representative from Castle Quay, which falls within the BID boundary and is classed as a managed centre and a voting voluntary contributor were also included on the BID board.
The meeting was chaired by Chris Gregory from Heartflood, the town centre advisory company which has guided Banbury’s BID process from the outset, and who updated the attendees on where the BID now stands.
Mr Gregory said: “The Banbury BID has been registered and now has a company number, we’ve registered the company name and it now has a bank account set up, although, unfortunately it has no money in it.”
With little fuss and in a surprisingly efficient process the 15 Banbury BID board members were then confirmed.
Representing independent retailers are Angharad Orchard from the Katharine House Hospice charity shop; Glyn Smith, of Comic Connections; Jasmine Gilhooly, of J D’Cruz Handbags; Jolyon New, of Buywise; Ken Gilett, of Sweet Celebrations; and Mark Conway, of Michael Jones Jewellers.
Representing the service sector is Barry Whitehouse, from The Artery while Paul Jackson is the lone representative for managed centres (Castle Quay).
The leisure and evening sector will be represented by Jem Morey, proprietor of the Ye Olde Reine Deer Inn; Rhys Hopkin, from the Mill Arts Centre; and Tom Sowler, of Lucha Burrito.
Professional and office retailers will be represented by Chris Tymon, of Toast Design, who created the Banbury BID logo, and David Whiting, of Spratt Endicott.
Finally Nick Poole, of Fort Locks Storage has a voting role on the board as a voluntary contributor.
Three non-voting positions were also filled at the meeting. Firstly Brian Auld, from Bretherton’s LLP Solicitors, volunteered to act as board secretary.
The two remaining positions were reserved for non-voting board observers from external entities with an interest in Banbury events.
The two people in these roles were Kieron Mallon in his capacity as both a town councillor and a Cherwell District councillor and Nick Poole, chairman of the Banbury and District Chamber of Commerce. Mr Poole will be in the unusual position of being both a voting board member and a non-voting observer.
With the legalities taken care of, the BID is also in the process of recruiting a BID manager, a salaried full time position who will help develop and deliver projects approved by the BID board and act as a contact point between the BID and external parties.
The deadline for applications ended on Friday, January 19 and Mr Gregory stated between ten and 20 viable applications had been received.
Interviews will begin at the end of the month and once appointed the BID manager and board will secure appropriate office space within the town.