New Pais­ley First boss Archie is just rar­ing to go

Busi­ness im­prove­ment man­ager plans ex­cit­ing new projects

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page - Ali­son Ren­nie

The new man­ager of the group tasked with im­prov­ing busi­ness in Pais­ley town cen­tre said he is ex­cited by his new role.

Archie Demp­ster took up the post as man­ager of Pais­ley First, the name of the town’s Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District (BID), last month and has been busy meet­ing re­tail­ers, work­ing on the new Pais­ley Ar­ti­san Workspace and Sales (PAWS) on Wellmeadow Street and the up­com­ing Win­ter­fest.

He comes with an im­pres­sive back­ground hav­ing worked on BIDs in other parts of Scot­land for the past six years as well as sev­eral years of aca­demic re­search on ur­ban pol­icy for Glas­gow Univer­sity, Strath­clyde Busi­ness School and the Cal­i­for­nia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy.

He’s also run so­cial en­ter­prises, worked with anti-poverty groups, cre­ated a se­nior cit­i­zens cen­tre, and worked at the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.

The Greenock man yes­ter­day told the Pais­ley Daily Ex­press: “I was work­ing on a BID in Dum­bar­ton which was com­ing to an end when one of my col­leagues told me about the Pais­ley job. I wasn’t in­ter­ested but he left the in­for­ma­tion on my desk.

“By the time I’d read through it, I’d sent in the ap­pli­ca­tion with just half an hour to the dead­line.

“I’m gen­uinely very ex­cited by this job. I see my job is to sup­port, ad­vance and pro­mote busi­nesses in Pais­ley town cen­tre.

“My am­bi­tion is to help busi­nesses in Pais­ley town cen­tre be as suc­cess­ful as they can be and make Pais­ley town cen­tre, as a place, as suc­cess­ful as it can be.”

Archie recog­nises there are chal­lenges to town cen­tre re­tail­ers from out- of- town shop­ping malls and on­line shop­ping but be­lieves Pais­ley busi­nesses are ca­pa­ble of do­ing well.

“We don’t want to be play­ing catchup, we want to be ahead of the game.

“We’ve got a re­ally good team of staff with Eileen Heron and Natalie McShane and a re­ally good, strong board.

“Nearly 600 busi­nesses pay us money and I want to see ev­ery one of them be suc­cess­ful. The BID model has got flaws.

“You’ve got to pay the money whether you want to or not. It’s a le­gal re­quire­ment.

“But I’d say to peo­ple who don’t like that – what’s the al­ter­na­tive?

“No­body in the six years I’ve worked in this field has come up with a pos­si­ble al­ter­na­tive which gets the same re­sults.

“I’m not say­ing ev­ery­thing we do is suc­cess­ful, but the pace of change is so fast that sit­ting still and do­ing noth­ing is not an op­tion.”

Al­ready, Pais­ley First has held the suc­ces­ful Pride of Pais­ley li­ons trail, Pais­ley’s Got Tal­ent and Restau­rant Week and is also be­hind the mu­rals which have been pop­ping up around the town cen­tre.

Next on the agenda is get­ting the PAWS space up and run­ning and some ar­ti­sans moved in be­fore Christ­mas, as well as Win­ter­fest with the ice rink on Cen­tral Way. And Archie is look­ing for­ward to get­ting his teeth into the job in 2018.

He said: “We have about eight or nine ex­cit­ing events and projects which we’re fi­nal­is­ing and plan to an­nounce early in the new year.

“This time next year, I’d love to be stand­ing at the BID board meet­ing talk­ing about what a suc­cess­ful year we’ve had and have a plan for 2019 al­ready worked out.”

Ex­cited Archie Demp­ster is the new man­ager of Pais­ley First

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