THE Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID) has appointed Kevin Ward as its new Manager.
Former South Wales Argus editor Mr Ward will be contracted by Newport Now via his company Kevin Ward Media Ltd.
He will be employed for three days a week to manage the BID and will also provide public relations services to the organisation.
Mr Ward said: “I am passionate about the BID and its potential for Newport city centre.
“I was instrumental in establishing a BID in Newport during my time at the Argus, having been involved in a similar project in Worcester, and I have been a member of its Welcome to Newport committee.
“When I established my business earlier this year I said I wanted to work with people and organisations whose values and passions I shared. I can’t think of a better example of this than Newport Now.
“The BID has made huge progress over the last year under Adrian Evans’ management and the direction of its board.
“My aim is to build on that success, raise the profile of the BID so it is seen as the go-to organisation for city centre issues, and prepare the organisation for a successful renewal ballot in 2020.
“I believe my management experience and my substantial network of key contacts in Newport and the surrounding area will be hugely beneficial to the BID.
“My initial priorities are to meet as many BID members as possible, to establish a quarterly ‘surgery’ for BID members, and to prepare for our next big event – Record Store Day on April 22.”
Newport Now chairman Alan Edwards said: “Although Newport Now are sad to see the departure of Adrian Evans, who is to return to his previous career as a biology teacher, we are excited to have been able to secure the services of Kevin Ward Media.
“Kevin has worked with the BID from the first exploratory meeting of city centre businesses in January 2013, and was instrumental in persuading me, when I was President of the Chamber Trade, that a BID was the way forward for the city centre.”
Newport Now was established in 2015 following a ballot of businesses in the city centre.
Business-led and funded primarily by eligible businesses paying a levy set at 1.25% of the rateable value of eligible properties, the BID operates for a five-year term before a renewal ballot takes place.
The BID operates in a defined geographical area – the city centre including the railway station frontage, the riverfront, East Street and Stow Hill to Kingsway/Commericial Street.
Newport Now represents all its members in the city centre and provides a range of services and events identified by businesses as key to the success of the area.
These are split into three ‘themes’: Welcome to Newport, delivering a programme of city centre events; Safe and Secure Newport, providing a visible and reassuring presence on the street with Newport Now’s uniformed ambassadors and working closely with Gwent Police; and Future Newport, delivering ‘digital high street’ projects.
Newport Now is based at the Riverfront Theatre.