Mrs Stacey Macdonald has been appointed as project manager to drive forward the case for a Business Improvement District (BID) to be established in and around Stornoway.
A Steering Group has been working with a wide range of businesses on the case for the past 18 months, but the appointment will take the project to the next level, expanding the range of engagement with all businesses.
Stacey, from Timsgarry, Uig, has 25 years’ experience in business, mainly in customer facing and consultation roles; and will be responsible for the project management of the initiative.
Business Improvement Districts were launched in 2006 in Scotland with the support of the Scottish Government. With approximately 40 in existence across Scotland, including Lerwick, Inverness and Oban, they have a strong track record of delivery over the decade.
The strength of the BID concept is in its simplicity. By pooling and sharing resources, local businesses, working with other private, public and third sector partners, take a leading role in improving local economic conditions by delivering an agreed package of activity.
Kevin Long, owner of the Halfway Garage and Chair of the Steering Group, said: “We’re delighted to announce Stacey’s appointment. She will play a pivotal role in taking the case for a Business Improvement District in Stornoway to the next level.
"Key to this will be getting out and listening to the concerns of local business owners to develop a joint vision for the Stornoway economy, building on the work that has already been undertaken.
“The BID model has proved to be a highly effective way of delivering important investment and improvements over and above that provided by local and national government. Stornoway has a great opportunity to realise these benefits for the town itself and the wider island economy.”
Stacey Macdonald said: “I look forward to meeting the many businesses throughout Stornoway and hearing their views on the future of their town. In a time where key issues are coming to the fore on local, regional and national scales, it is more imperative now than ever that one voice representing the Stornoway business community is working hard to maintain and improve all aspects of living and working in the town.”
“I believe that Stornoway has significant strengths which mean it is well positioned to benefit from a business improvement district, but I want to hear what you have to say. This week I will be launching a business survey, both online and on paper. Please take the time to let me know what you think about Stornoway and your ideas and hopes for its future. Your opinion is very important.”
More information about Business Improvement Districts can be found at www.improvementdistricts.scot