Award-winning Paratrooper to lead city centre BID

An award-winning, former paratrooper has been appointed the new Chairman of Liverpool’s City Central Business Improvement District (BID).

Ian Strettle, a Falklands War veteran who won the British Empire Medal for re-opening a police station within six weeks of it being bombed, swapped the army for retail management 15 years ago and currently runs Clayton Square Shopping centre.

The ex-sergeant major, who now has a Diploma in Shopping Centre Management, has been on the BID Operating Board for seven years and takes over from Ian Ward – former manager at St Johns Shopping centre.

The Liverpool-born 58-year-old father of two, who cites hill walking as a major passion, said he was relishing the new role.

Ian added: “Liverpool city centre needs a strong, professional BID and I will be doing my utmost to ensure the Operating Board and BID team represents its members in the best possible way.

”I want to see better collaboration between the many different organisations in the city centre to ensure we can create a consistently clean and safe destination, so shoppers and visitors will return again and again.”

City Central BID covers Liverpool’s retail core, representing more than 620 businesses, including three major shopping centres which attract more than 1 million people every week into the city centre.

It annually invests almost £700,00 on providing environmental, safety, marketing and animation programmes for businesses and their customer to benefit from, such as the free to download ThIS Liverpool App, which promotes offers in the city centre.

In the past 12 months City Central BID has used its levy on businesses to fund a new police team, launched a new digital platform to combat shoplifters and hosted the Snowflake Trail at Christmas.

This week it is hosting its 7th annual Mystery Shop Awards, in which a record 200 businesses were secretly assessed, and in June will be hosting public tennis events as part of its sponsorship of the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament.

First established in 2003, City Central businesses will get to vote in 2018 on a business plan that will spell out a new 5 year programme of activities.

Bill Addy, Chief Executive of Liverpool BID Company, said the appointment comes at a time of transition for the company as it restructures and is currently seeking a new Head of Operations.

He added: “I’m delighted Ian accepted the offer to be the new City Central Chairman as he brings continuity to the position alongside a new energy to ensure the BID reflects the needs of our members and city centre.

”He has a brilliant track record of delivering results and fostering great teamwork. Under his stewardship I’m sure the BID Company will further improve its services and continue to demonstrate excellent value for money.”