Partnership holds the key

John Sankey
John Sankey
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Mansfield BID chairman John Sankey on how closer co-operation can help boost the local economy....

I’m writing this in my role as chairman of the board at the Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID).

The BID is a partnership between private businesses and local authorities and to find out more about our work, go to www.mansfieldbid.com.

Partnership is, therefore, the theme of today’s column.

It sounds corny doesn’t it to say that by working together we achieve a lot more. But it’s true and the BID is a great example of that.

This past week has proved that working in partnership can bring success.

Last week saw the first Be, See and Do Business event. Held in the Market Place, around 50 companies showcased their wares in a day organised in partnership with the BID, Mansfield 2020 and A Star Media.

People came together to celebrate business. And we do have some great businesses, not just in the town centre but across the district.

The BID also organised a wedding fayre that took place last week. Again, businesses got together to show off their products. And what a success it was. We’ve had great reports from those who exhibited to say not only was it a great day, but it was a success because they did business.

Angela at I Do Bridal on Queen Street got in touch with the BID team to say that she had had a wonderful day and had quite a few new customers. Similarly, Greenwoods reported a successful day too.

Along with a 1940s-themed dance evening, an evening market and a Spitfire making an appearance, there was a real buzz in the town centre.

As Hops in a Botttle said: “Absolutely brilliant evening tonight at the Mansfield BID 1940s event in town. A big thank you to Sarah Nelson and Sue Rogers for putting together an excellent show. Cheers!”

Mansfield is also bidding for Purple Flag status, and locations including the CCTV control room, White Lion Yard, the new £9m bus station/transport hub and Titchfield Park were visited by assessors.

Purple Flag is an accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of town centres at night and an application for it was submitted in January.

The initial application was approved by the Association of Town Centre Management, and the steering group includes Mansfield Association of Licensed Venues, Mansfield BID, Mansfield District Council, Mansfield Partnership Against Crime (MPAC) and the police.

We don’t know yet if we have Purple Flag status but you can see that a group has come together to work on improving the town centre and proving that it has a real buzz about it.

Mansfield does have that buzz. Figures show that between February and March, footfall was up 11.3 per cent on the year before.

We’re keen on working with others to make sure Mansfield continues to have that buzz about it but it’s only going to happen if we work together.