A former head of marketing for the NEC is to become director of the Solihull Town Centre Business Improvement District.
From July 5 James Brown, who is currently marketing consultant with the Convention Centre Dublin, will head up the BID company’s £2.5 million initiative to work with retailers and businesses in the town centre, to improve the trading environment.
Mr Brown, who lives in Dorridge, has 20 years experience in marketing communication as well as business tourism and the events industry.
While he was with the NEC he worked with a range of senior managers to launch and build a variety of brands including the NEC, ICC, the LG Arena, the NIA, the Ticket Factory and Catering by Amadeus.
As Solihull BID Director he will be working on projects prioritised by retailers and businesses in the town centre that will be paying an annual levy to the BID company based on their rateable value.
The initiatives include improved marketing, promotion and events; better safety and security; boosting accessibility and car parking as well as securing improvements in business insurance rates through the introduction of BID status.
He will be answerable to a board of 15 directors elected by the BID areas businesses in the near future and one of his first tasks will be to help in the recruitment of three town centre ‘hosts’ to be the welcoming face to shoppers, tourists and business visitors.
Sue Yates, chairman of Solihull BID board, said: “We are very lucky to secure the services of such an experienced person as James. It was a unanimous decision.
“He will be driving forward the initiatives outlined in the business plan, and the BID board is confident that James will deliver a five-year development programme which will greatly improve the town centre environment for businesses and visitors alike.
“It is imperative that Solihull keeps pace with neighbouring towns which are in direct competition in attracting people to their centres and James is the man to do that”.