City store managers appointed Chair and Deputy Chair of Retail Birmingham

The managers of Selfridges and John Lewis in Birmingham have been appointed Chair and Deputy Chair respectively of Retail BID Birmingham to help drive city centre improvement projects.

Sam Watts, General Manager of Selfridges, takes the role of Chair while Lisa Williams, Head of Branch at John Lewis & Partners, becomes Deputy Chair.

Ms Watts replaces Richard Norgrove of Hortons’ Estate and Ms Williams replaces David Pardoe of the Mailbox who stood down from their roles but will remain on the BID Board.

The Retail BID Board is made up of some of the most senior roles in Birmingham retail, property, culture and civic affairs.

Stephanie Lacey, the new manager of Bullring & Grand Central, has joined the Board alongside Cllr John Cotton, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety & Equalities.

The Retail BID Business Improvement District represents hundreds of city centre retailers with a programme of street cleaning, floral enhancements, public realm improvements and city centre promotion. The BID area captures Bullring & Grand Central, Great Western Arcade, Piccadilly Arcade and busy thoroughfares such as New Street, High Street, Bennetts Hill and Temple Street.

The BID also employs Business Support Officers and Patrol Officers who work alongside West Midlands Police and the City Council’s Street Intervention Team to tackle anti-social behaviour and business crime. The BID recently launched the City Safe radio network, which gives participating businesses the latest digital radio technology to report issues immediately and access to intelligence-led crime data.

Sam Watts said: “I’m delighted to be appointed as the Chair of the Retail BID. I’ve been in retail for 20 years and I’m keen to share my knowledge and experience with the BID members to continue to make our city great.

“I’m especially looking forward to working with Lisa, our brands may be competitors but we have a fantastic relationship. This is built on ensuring our city is front and centre of visitors’ minds and they choose Birmingham to shop, eat and experience all that our great city has on offer.

“Birmingham is full of excitement and promise and we will work strategically as a Board to set out our plans for the coming years.

“We will host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and we all have a lot of work to do to make us ‘visit ready’. Lisa, the Board and I, are ready and up for the challenge!”

Lisa Williams said: “As a proud Brummie it was great to come back to the city to open and lead the new John Lewis shop in 2015.

“I have loved being back in the heart of my favourite city in the world but have been struck with how many different groups and organisations work tirelessly to make Birmingham great.

“Whether formed by geography or function, public or private sector, we have got so many reasons to work together more closely.

“In taking up the Deputy Chair position on the Retail BID Board, I will be working to support Sam in bringing together the knowledge, expertise, time and resource of these teams to unite the city in one direction and help restore our pride in Birmingham.”