Newmarket’s Business Improvement District (BID) has appointed a manager.
Thirty-five-year-old Graham Philpot said it was his intention to help the town and its businesses thrive.
But he stressed that although it had around £1.2 million to invest in the town over the next five years, the BID should not be seen as a “cash cow.”
“We will be considering very carefully what the BID will fund and we are not about taking over services that the council provides,” said Mr Philpot, who took up his new post last week and currently has an office at the Heath Court Hotel in Moulton Road.
The BID was officially launched earlier this year when businesses in the town signed up to pay a levy, with the amount depending on their size. A total of 112 businesses cast a vote in the BID ballot, with 69 of those in favour of the BID – a total of 62 per cent.
Mr Philpot, who comes from Downham Market has previous BID experience having worked with the Fitzrovia Partership in London. He has also worked in local government and in media and marketing.
He said one of his first tasks would be helping businesses to reduce their costs by negotiating waste management, recycling, insurance and advertising contracts.
“We will also be taking on two BID rangers who will operate in the town centre guiding visitors, helping shoppers and supporting town events,” he said. “They will also be security trained so they can liaise with businesses to combat crime.
“Further down the line I will also be planning events to help increase footfall into the town and looking at ways to help the market,” said Mr Philpot.
“I will also be looking at some of the ideas put forward by the Newmarket Vision, like the planting of trees in the High Street and improved town signage. If you get off the train at Newmarket station as a visitor there isn’t anything telling you where to go. This is the kind of thing we need to improve,” he added.
Di Robertshaw, chairman of the Newmarket BID, said: “We have every confidence in Graham. He has previous BID and council experience which should prove invaluable. We are all looking forward to working with him.”