Who are we?
Leamington’s Business Improvement District is a ‘not for profit’ Limited Company which is led by business people trading in the town. The BID Leamington Board of Directors comprises up to 15 members who are passionate about Leamington Spa and its future.
Thirteen of the members are business owners or managers who are elected by the levy payers and two are representatives from the local authorities; one from Warwick District Council and one from Warwickshire County Council. The Directors are not waged and meet every six weeks to ensure that the Business Plan is delivered by the two full-time employees of BID Leamington – Stephanie Kerr, Executive Director and Alison Shaw, Project Coordinator.
Meet the Team
Stephanie took over the role in June 2011 and is responsible for ensuring the delivery of the BID Business Plan. She has a first class honours degree in Town Planning and a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) completed in 2020 with distinction. She has spent the past 19 years working in a range of roles for both the private and public sector and as a consultant worked on multi-disciplinary planning and strategic development projects in the UK and emerging economies. She also brings business, retail and hospitality experience gained while setting up and managing a number of small companies in the outdoor and leisure sectors.
Stephanie sits on the BID Foundation Council and the Association of Town and City Management Advisory Council. The Advisory Council discusses high-level public policy for high streets, town centres and city centres. The themes covered in the Advisory Council inform the content for meetings of the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Town Centres and ATCM’s wider advocacy work. Locally, Stephanie is on the Warwickshire College Group Advisory Board and actively contributes to a number of local community groups and organisations including Creative Leamington, the Lights of Leamington and Meaningful Change Leamington.
“I have a passion for place-making and the development of thriving, connected and supportive cities and communities. I am also very interested in the governance of non-profit community facing organisations like BIDs, as well as diverse stakeholder representation on boards which was the focus of my Masters research. In this role I hope to raise the bar and bring a more strategic and commercial approach to the way BID delivers projects, re-engage with businesses to offer added value, re-energise them in challenging times and to develop stronger community partnerships.”
Please click here to contact Stephanie.
BID Project Manager
Alison joined the BID team in July 2010 and in 2014 completed the ‘Certificate In BID Management’ bringing together research, best practice and management skills. She is responsible for supporting the delivery of the BID Business Plan with particular focus on delivering events and promotions. Alison brings over 17 years of experience gained working in retail before setting up her own events management company. She is committed to helping businesses get maximum value out of BID projects and has practical knowledge of what works well here in the town centre.
“I believe in good old fashioned customer service and enjoy coming up with creative ways to help businesses promote themselves. Please give me a call if you want to find out how to get more involved in BID activities or would like some support”
Please click here to contact Alison.
The BID Board of Directors
The role of Board Director plays a fundamental part in shaping both the activities of the BID and the future of the town centre. The Board must consist of 16 elected members that represent a cross section of skills, experience and sectors including but not limited to: Independent Retail, Property Owners, Major Retail, Leisure, Professional Services, Creative / Tech, Local Authority, Tourism, Marketing, Finance and Voluntary members.
Collectively, the BID board of Directors is committed to:
- Act as guardians of the town centre
- Convey a passion for the town centre to customers and other retailers
- Help shape and guide the future strategic direction of Royal Leamington Spa
- Freely give time to make a difference and improve the town centre
- Be approachable and engage with other businesses to understand ideas and concerns
- Bring other stakeholders and partners along on the journey
- Supporting BID and attending meetings
- Use a strong evidence base to identify BID projects and ensure they are delivered to budget
- Draw on best practice and be innovative, flexible and adaptable in our approach to identifying and delivering projects
- Be transparent and accountable to levy payers through regular communications
Board Applications, Elections and Terms of Reference
If you are a BID levy payer and are interested in becoming a BID Board member, we would be delighted to hear from you. New board members are invited to stand for election each June when the existing Board members discuss all applications. Where there are more applicants for a sector than places, a formal ballot will be held. Where positions become vacant applications will be invited at other times of the year. Please select the relevant links to view the BID Board of Directors Application Form and the BID Board of Directors Terms of Reference and Commitments.
Board Meetings & Decision Making
Decisions relating to activities of the BID are made by the BID Leamington Board of Directors in accordance with the BID Business Plan and the BID Leamington Procurement Policy. Board meetings are held approximately every six weeks. BID Levy payers may request the minutes of Board meetings by contacting the Executive Director or the BID Chair by email or mail. Members who are considering joining the Board are also welcome to get in touch.
Open Business Meetings
BID Leamington hosts popular open business meetings 3-4 times per year where members are invited to hear about past and upcoming events, promotions and activities and feedback to the BID Board and the wider team. Meeting dates and locations are published on the website, in newsletters and invites are hand delivered in the weeks prior to the event. The BID team are also open to feedback throughout the year and can be contacted by phone on 01926 470634 or by email on email@example.com.
The BID board is currently made up of the following members:
Gurdip Chatha (BID Chair)
Gurdip is responsible for the finance, marketing and outsourcing of the multi-award winning beauty salon in Royal Leamington Spa – currently Salon of the Year in the UK. She brings a considerable amount of experience in Independent retail, with her parents owning their own shop since she was 10 to now owning Esqué. Gurdip is also treasurer of the Federation of Small Businesses in Leamington.
“I love Leamington and as an owner of a business in the town centre, I relish the opportunity to help support the local community.”
Martin owns the Esquires Coffee franchise on Warwick Street in Leamington Town Centre and also has a franchise in Stratford Upon Avon.
Sarah Horne Flowers
Sarah’s independent family business has been established in Leamington Spa for over 30 years. She has been the proprietor for 18 years and a property owner on Warwick Street for over 13 years.
“I have a passion for the continued success of Royal Leamington Spa. As a consultant I have worked directly with the executive of Interflora and organisations such as the British Florists Association, BBC, Holland Flowers Council, F and PA, RHS and Independent Florists. I am experienced in generating PR both locally and nationally, and have featured in the Independent 50 Best Florists List, as well as working several marketing projects. I am an experienced presenter, working as an international demonstrator, and Triple Chelsea Gold medallist.”
Cllr Liam Bartlett
Warwick District Council Representative
Cllr Liam Bartlett is an elected councillor for Warwick District Council with portfolio holder responsibility for Economy and Culture. He provides an important connection between the Local Authority and the BID and has a role in feeding back business ideas, views and issues to the Council and helping the BID team stay up to date with Local Authority activities. Cllr Bartlett is also on the Leamington Transformation Board.
“I am also a board member of Shakespeare’s England. I am Leamington born and bred and a regular user of the Town Centre. I work in a professional capacity at Warwick Castle as the Senior Operations Director, a member of the Senior leadership team responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Castle and its overnight accommodation. I believe I can provide the board with a strong representation from the local authority as a member of its cabinet, but one that understands the needs of businesses in the district with a detailed understanding of the town.”
Cllr Sarah Boad
Warwickshire County Council Representative
Sarah Boad has been a County Councillor for 19 years, representing North Leamington.
“I am very passionate about working to help the town centre and the surrounding community thrive and bring a long history of experience as well as an understanding of the role and scope of the Council.”
Sarah Jones (BID Vice Chair)
Royal Priors Shopping Centre Manager
“I am very pleased to support the work of BID Leamington through my role on the Board of Directors. The Royal Priors Shopping Centre collaborates with BID Leamington on many things and see this partnership working as an essential part of ensuring our town centre thrives”
Neal's Yard Remedies
Matt is the owner of a small local business so understands (and faces daily) the issues that the local independent retailers face. He brings a desire to represent businesses effectively as well as contributing realistic and constructive ideas to any marketing initiatives that are aimed at supporting the town.
“Having spent 17 years in marketing agencies and consultancies, I have the experience of building brands and developing marketing strategies, plus the knowledge of marketing techniques, to be able to contribute usefully to the BID’s marketing efforts. In particular, I believe in the necessity of a clear and concise marketing vision for Royal Leamington Spa to which all marketing initiatives are aligned. It’s imperative that we communicate consistently to our external audiences AND our internal audiences so they understand what Royal Leamington Spa represents. If we can achieve that, we can go a long way to unlocking the potential of our great town.”
Peter Stephan Jewellers
Colin owns an independent jewellery shop on the corner of Warwick St and Park Street which takes pride in its personal service.
“I am really pleased to have been elected to the board of BID Leamington. We have such a wide variety of individual and creative businesses in Royal Leamington Spa it gives us a unique opportunity to promote and improve local business by making Leamington a ‘must do’ destination shopping experience. In such a difficult economic climate, working together to market and increase awareness of our beautiful town will undoubtedly benefit everyone.”
Russell is the Managing Director of Aubrey Allen.
Aubrey Allen have three businesses located in Leamington. This includes their multi-award winning butcher shop on Warwick Street, Aubrey Allez, a lunch diner and café also on Warwick Street, and Oscars French Bristo, a delightful French restaurant in the heart of the town. These are among the family of well know Aubrey Allen businesses that have been operating in the region for over 80 years.
“We greatly value the work of BID Leamington and I am pleased to support the work they are doing influencing how Leamington changes and ensuring business interests are represented. As well as our business, myself and my family live locally and are passionate about the town.”
The Royal Pug
“I am very pleased to represent the evening economy on the BID Board of Directors. This is an exciting sector which has seen a lot of growth in the town and the work the BID does to promote and support it with events like the Food Festival and the Taste Leamington website is essential”.
Alongside her husband John, Sue is the proud owner of Belvoir, Sales & Lettings, Leamington Spa.
“We are very passionate about our business as well as the future of Royal Leamington Spa. We see first-hand the influx of new residents moving into the area and particularly the attraction and desire for clients wanting to reside in and around the town centre.
Being local to Leamington Spa ourselves we have watched the town flourish over the years and we do all we can to support local businesses, support local charities and to promote ‘ the happiest place in Britain ‘ to live!”