Steve bids for third term to con­tinue good work

Hinckley Times - - NEWS -

“WHEN we see happy smil­ing peo­ple or we get a nice mes­sage on Face­book, I feel like we’ve done some­thing good,” says Steve Wegerif, the di­rec­tor of the Hinck­ley BID (Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District).

For nine years Steve has ded­i­cated his time and ef­fort to help­ing make Hinck­ley a fun, at­trac­tive, fam­ily-ori­en­tated and mem­o­rable place to live in, work and visit.

In 2009, there were 72 BIDs through­out the UK and Hinck­ley’s was the first of its kind in Le­ices­ter­shire. It was de­vel­oped by Jonathon White who got Steve on board al­most a decade ago.

Ever since, Steve ded­i­cates ev­ery minute of his of time to en­sure the BID op­er­ates 24/7.

Steve said: “If I’m not here in the of­fice, I’m at home and I’m on call. We have over 400 busi­nesses in the town cen­tre that are mem­bers of Hinck­ley BID.

“This is what I do and live for ev­ery day. A lot of evenings we have events, on sev­eral Sun­days we have events, it is just full on.”

Dur­ing his time as di­rec­tor, Steve has suc­cess­fully over­seen and or­gan­ised many events through­out the years which have, in turn, gen­er­ated in­come, in­ter­est and Hinck­ley.

“What have we achieved? Well we now have the big­gest town cen­tre mo­tor­show in the UK ev­ery year, more than 700 ve­hi­cles took part last year.

“We’ve just had our eighth an­nual Soap Box Derby run­ning down Cas­tle at­trac­tion to Street. Ev­ery year more en­tries and more peo­ple of all ages take part - and huge crowds come to watch.

“We know that from the foot­fall radar coun­ters, we have brought more than a mil­lion peo­ple into the town since Hinck­ley BID started.”

The list of achieve­ments for the Hinck­ley BID is end­less, and fur­ther em­pha­sises how well the town is do­ing in terms of serv­ing its pur­pose of de­liv­er­ing projects and ser­vices in sup­port of the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity and help­ing to im­prove the trad­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

When asked what his BID high­lights are, Steve found it far too easy to an­swer, ex­cit­edly reel­ing off anec­dotes from his in­volve­ment.

“There’s the Soap Box Derby, and the clas­sic mo­tor­shows, the pan­cake race each year on Pan­cake Day, the five Wed­nes­day Sum­mer of Fun events in the school hol­i­days, which are all free for fam­i­lies to at­tend.

“I think my fun­ni­est ex­pe­ri­ence was when I was op­er­at­ing the start line at one of our an­nual Soap Box Derby. Half way down one of the soap boxes had a crash and I rushed down to help.

“Con­scious that I was on the cir­cuit and hold­ing up the race, I ran all the way back up the hill re­ceiv­ing more ap­plause and cheer­ing than the soap boxes go­ing down,” he laughed.

The full-on job re­quires lots of think­ing, plan­ning and or­gan­is­ing, and each year Steve and his col­league Martina Smullen in­vent new ideas to put for­ward to busi­nesses to make the town even more at­trac­tive to vis­i­tors.

Steve con­tin­ued: “We like to think that we are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can do and more to show­case Hinck­ley town cen­tre. We are com­ing up with new ideas and events to at­tract more vis­i­tors. For ex­am­ple, how about a gi­ant wa­ter slide down Cas­tle Street?

“We work with the bus com­pa­nies to get peo­ple into Hinck­ley, with coun­cil­lors, the county coun­cil, with HBBC of­fi­cers and we work with all the busi­nesses to try to solve any is­sue or prob­lem that they have, do­ing our level best to main­tain mo­men­tum.

“We are de­lighted that big­ger busi­nesses as well as small in­de­pen­dents are still choos­ing Hinck­ley to set up in.

“We have more than 50 events on of­fer each year, the town has a fab­u­lous new Leisure Cen­tre, the new Cres­cent de­vel­op­ment and a five­screen cinema. Our plan­ners, coun­cil- lors and of­fi­cers have done a great job in Hinck­ley by work­ing to­gether.”

As the third term BID bal­lot vote is rapidly ap­proach­ing, prepa­ra­tion is un­der­way to en­sure that BID mem­bers are sat­is­fied with what has hap­pened so far and that pro­pos­als that can make a dif­fer­ence are put in place for the next five years.

Steve is con­tin­u­ing to in­vest all of his time into mak­ing Hinck­ley even greater than it al­ready is.

And he is full of ad­mi­ra­tion for the vol­un­teers who make up the Hinck­ley Town Part­ner­ship Ltd, who the BID is ad­min­is­tered by.

Steve also ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to both them and their Chair­man Ian Daniels, and to Steve’s hard work­ing col­league Martina Smullen, whom he says if it was not for them, life would be very, very dif­fi­cult.

With BIDs now es­tab­lished in Loughborough, Mel­ton Mow­bray, Le­ices­ter City and shortly, Nuneaton, Steve says that it is es­sen­tial that all the hard work Hinck­ley BID has done does not grind to a halt.

Hinck­ley’s an­nual Soap Box Derby race

Hinck­ley Clas­sic Car Show last year. Paynes Garage, Hinck­ley 1925 Model T Ford with Find­ley Bright­more from Stoney Stan­ton. Pic­ture: Ted Cot­trell

The an­nual Pan­cake Race in Cas­tle Street

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.