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Business Forum

News - 27 September 2006
Gavin Stewart

New position heralds change for business in Hove

Gavin Stewart has taken up the reigns as the new Assistant City Centre Manager with special responsibility for Hove. Working for the Brighton & Hove Business Forum, this dedicated business resource heralds a new era for traders and businesses in Hove.

Having coordinated the work of the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership for several years, Gavin brings with him a wealth of business experience. He has run projects with big business such as the Top 20 Employers in the city as well as managed city centre initiatives with the Brighton & Hove Business Forum for traders in Brighton.

Gavin said, ’What makes this new role really exciting is that it is working with business for business.’ He went on to say, ‘The job focus will be to support the creation of a Business Improvement District or BID for Hove. Under this Government scheme, the BID will give the decision making power back to business and away from councils. Businesses mutually agree to pay an extra levy on their business rates. The clever bit though is that they get to decide what money gets spent where. The projects decided on will potentially be as diverse as the business community itself and could range from a dazzling display of Christmas lights every year to paying for on street security, PR, better signage or even hanging baskets and street furniture. We are hoping that Hove businesses will immediately be able to see the benefits that a better environment will make to their bottom line and run with a BID themselves.’

‘The main thing to remember is that whatever the money is spent on is decided by the businesses themselves, no strategic decisions will be devolved anywhere else. For the first time, we will have a real opportunity to see the aspirations of Hove businesses become a reality.’

Gavin has a responsibility for Hove and will also be working closely with the Hove Business Association to help them realise their action plan for the area. In addition to this, he will also be working with the City Council in the consultation and development of a graffiti strategy; keeping an eye on vacancy rates, supporting events ultimately, keeping in touch with retailers and businesses to stay abreast of developments on the ground.

If you have any questions about BIDs or would like a chat about what they could mean to you, Gavin can be contacted on 01273 736909 or by e-mail on

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