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Stratforward BID's new leader looking to help town recover from Covid

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BUSINESSWOMAN Diane Mansell will take over management of Stratforward Business Improvement District from January.

Diane was appointed after a six-month nationwide search for the right person to take the role after former BID boss Joe Baconnet left in May.

Diane Mansell (53684457)
Diane Mansell (53684457)

Originally from Dudley, Diane, 42, currently runs another BID, the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership. She has 18 years’ experience behind her, and has specifically worked in place management; promoting regional business interests in the Black Country and Birmingham.

Diane said Stratford held particular significance for her. She explained: “I can’t tell you just how much I am looking forward to joining the team as it’s a huge opportunity for me to be able to make a real difference to a place I know and love – I have been coming here since I was a child.

“I am so excited to be part of the post-pandemic rebuilding project, which I hope will see Stratford come back bigger and better than before.”

She added: “There really is nowhere else like Stratford. The culture, the beauty, the history, and the community make it a very special place. I look forward to being part of this and working with all of the businesses, the many great stakeholders like the town, district, and county councils, the LEP, Shakespeare’s England, the police, the FSB and of course the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust.”

Recognising the army of voluntary workers at the heart of the town, Diane added: “I am particularly excited about working with the huge and diverse array of voluntary and community groups that do so much for the town. It is heart-warming to hear about the work volunteers do through organisations like Stratford in Bloom, Stratford Christmas Lights, Stratford Literary Festival and the Street Pastors, to name a few – the many more that make the town the incredible place that it is.”

Welcoming Diane, chair of Stratforward BID Josefine Blomqvist said: “We are really looking forward to having Diane joining the BID team. She has an impressive track record with major regeneration and community projects in numerous places across the country and really understands how BIDs and town centres work to achieve the best for businesses and consumers alike.

“Her wealth of experience and knowledge will be a major factor as Stratford continues to contend with changes to the way people work and shop and, of course, the huge challenges posed as we come out of the pandemic.”

Stratforward BID has been in existence since 2009 and works to help the town centre businesses to reach their full potential. As well as representing the views of businesses, some of its initiatives and events include the food and river festivals and promoting Christmas in Stratford.

See next week’s newspaper for the Herald’s interview with Diane.

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