Two of the most senior figures in Birmingham's retail sector have been appointed to lead a city centre business improvement district.

Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges, is Retail BID's new chairwoman and she is joined on the board by head of John Lewis' Birmingham branch Lisa Williams as deputy chairwoman.

The pair replace Richard Norgrove of Hortons' Estate and David Pardoe of the Mailbox respectively but both men will remain on the BID's board.

Other new faces on Retail BID's board are Stephanie Lacey, who took over as manager of Bullring and Grand Central before Christmas, and Cllr John Cotton from Birmingham City Council.

 

Retail BID represents hundreds of city centre retailers and its area includes Bullring, Grand Central, Great Western Arcade, Piccadilly Arcade and busy thoroughfares such as New Street, High Street and Bennetts Hill.

Its work includes street cleaning, floral enhancements, public realm improvements and city centre promotion and marketing.

Ms Watts said: "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."

 

Ms Williams added: "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.

"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."