Herald MD joins the directors of city BID
THE boss of the company which publishes The Herald has been appointed to the board of the city centre's Business Improvement District (BID).
Blanche Sainsbury is managing director of South West Media Group, part of parent company Local World. The group owns The Herald and its sister titles Western Morning News, Exeter's Express and Echo and Torquay's Herald Express. It also operates the Thisis websites including thisisplymouth.co.uk.
Blanche has become a director of the non-profit-making City Centre Company, which manages the city centre's BID.
She was previously involved with a BID in Swansea, during her four years in charge of South West Wales Media Group.
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She said: "I'm delighted to be part of the city centre BID and I'm very much looking forward to working with the BID team and on their aspirations for Plymouth.
"As a media company we will also be working on some exciting projects alongside the BID."
The City Centre Company's board consists of businesses, property owners, Plymouth City Council and other stakeholders, with 12 of the 14 directors from the private sector.
It manages the BID, the scheme by which businesses pay a match-funded levy towards additional improvements and services designed to drive retail trade and re-assert Plymouth as the region's premier shopping and leisure destination.
A distinct Waterfront BID is run separately by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership.
Plymouth City Centre Company is chaired by Richard Davis, a senior manager at Lloyds TSB bank in the city. He said Blanche's experience with the Swansea BID and the involvement of The Herald would be a major boon for the city centre BID.
He added: "I'm delighted to welcome Blanche to the board. She has a wealth of business experience and a clear passion for improving the retail experience in Plymouth.
"She was part of the BID team in Swansea and it's always relevant to learn from other cities."
He added: "Across the country, these are challenging times for city centres and retail. We need to learn from each other and find innovative ways to increase eating out, and other forms of leisure, as well as retail.
"Blanche is full of ideas and can only be a positive addition to the board."
He stressed it was also important for the board to have representation from across the private sector and business community.
He said: "If we look at areas like marketing, it's useful to have a range of people from different backgrounds and experiences involved.
"Blanche's working life touches on all sorts of important areas."