Strabane BID scheme appoints first Board of Directors

Posted by Admin on 31 Oct 2016

Strabane business owners have taken the next step towards building a more prosperous and vibrant town centre and retail park area by appointing the first board to its new Business Improvement District (BID).

The initiative, which was overwhelming backed by local businesses earlier this year, allows them to take ownership of the decisions about how their funds will be invested in return for paying an additional levy.

The new company will invest almost £100,000 in its first year and will work collectively to identify initiatives and coordinate solutions to increase footfall for trading and bring more tourists to the town.

The Board is represented by a broad range of business owners including national and independent retailers, leisure and night-time businesses and professional and public services.

They held their first meeting last week, when they appointed Liam Stewart, LGS Building Solutions and DS Auto Design as Chair, and Michael Kelly from MK’s Bar and B&B as Vice-Chair.

Other board directors include: Kevin O’Connor, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Dale Coyle, Building Management Services, Diarmuid Hutton, O2, Julie Ashenhurst, Valerie Manning, Kieran Murphy, Murphy’s on the Green, Mark Mc Quaid, Boots, Seamus Nealis, Craft Training Ltd, Sgt. Davy McIlwaine, PSNI, Trevor Mealiff, Café Fresco.

Director Pic

One seat on the board remains vacant from the financial services sector, an appointment the Board are hoping to complete in the coming weeks.

BID Board member and Derry City and Strabane District Council Head of Business Kevin O’Connor welcomed this crucial next step in the scheme.

The additional BID funding will undoubtedly help unlock Strabane’s commercial potential,” he said. “Business owners in the area have the best insight into the challenges they face meaning the funds will be invested intelligently and in the areas of greatest need.”

Vice Chair Michael Kelly added: “We were committed to forming a board that would be representative of both the different types of business within the BID area and the geographical areas it coversI’m delighted with the make-up of the board, with strong representatives from both national and independent retailers as well as the public sector and night-time economy.  The board members are all volunteers who have committed to giving their time to make sure that the BID achieves its objectives over the next five years.”

Seamus Nealis, Director of Craft Training Ltd, said he was delighted to be joining the Board: “I have been in business in Strabane for many years and in my job, I get the opportunity to understand the needs of both small to medium size businesses as well as private individuals. I have a great passion and enthusiasm to make a difference in Strabane.”

Diarmuid Hutton, Manager of O2 said: “It is brilliant to have been chosen and it is great that I am getting the opportunity to steer the BID forward – I have been involved since its inception and I really have learned about a lot.  Now we have got to make sure we spend the money well.”

Catherine Collins, previously BID Development Officer, has been appointed BID Officer to assist the Board and help fulfil its objectives on behalf of the town’s businesses.


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