Darlington business improvement company hopes new board will curb criticism (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Darlington business improvement company hopes new board will curb criticism
1:25pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
A MUCH-CRITICISED business improvement company has elected a new-look board in an effort to further boost Darlington’s economy.
Distinct Darlington Ltd represents retailers and businesses in the town and attempts to drive success for the town centre through a variety of projects.
As the controversial Business Improvement District (Bid) scheme enters its second year, board members hope that it will not face the same level of criticism as it has to date.
The company imposes a levy on town centre businesses in return for its services and has been criticised by some for adopting a ‘heavy-handed’ approach to collection, with bailiffs sent to some premises.
After a visit from the bailiffs Dave Nichols, landlord of The George pub, in Bondgate described the way his business was treated by the Bid as ‘shoddy’.
Distinct Darlington manager Alex Hirst said: “I am confident the company will continue to develop and we can use the previous 12 months as a firm platform from which to grow.”
The 16-strong board plans to repeat a handful of last year’s successful projects, including the quarterly Little Book of Offers and the TV advert, which ran in April as part of a regional multi-media campaign.
Also after the success of the ice rink in 2012, outdoor skating is set to return to Darlington. It will occupy the market square for over four weeks.
Distinct Darlington is also planning to expand its hanging basket scheme, providing an attractive seasonal addition to the town.
The board, which includes representatives from the police and Darlington Borough Council, as well as traders, is pledging to boost recycling projects and further improve the look of the town centre as part of its agenda.
Nicola Reading, chairwoman of Distinct Darlington Ltd and owner of Bliss Gifts, is confident about the year ahead.
She said “This is the first full year that the board has been voted in by way of an election and we now have an interesting and diverse selection of board members.
“We have set quite a challenging agenda and with hard work on all our parts I think we can deliver what we have promised.”
Mrs Hirst added: “Darlington town centre is made up of a variety of businesses.
“By having a diverse mix of spokespersons from these businesses on our board, we are able to learn from their experiences and gain a collective insight into what projects will prove most successful over the next 12 months.”
Comments are closed on this article.