A city centre manager with experience in Liverpool and Manchester has been appointed to support the business community.

Peter Lewis, 61, who will work closely with the team hoping to deliver the CH1 Business Improvement District (BID) in the city, is the first person to hold such a role since 2008.

With a long and distinguished career in local authority including city centre management roles in both Liverpool and Manchester, Peter brings more than 25 years of experience to the position and has already started work.h

He said: “Chester has struggled in recent years, as have many other cities. The economic downturn and other major factors have clearly had a detrimental effect on our city centres but Chester remains a wonderful place to live, shop and visit and it’s a pleasure to come here and work on an initiative to re-energise such a beautiful city.”

A BID is a private sector-led, business-funded body created to improve a defined commercial area. A vote this June will determine whether more than 550 shops and businesses are prepared to pay an annual levy to fund initiatives like a dedicated marketing campaign, more events and making the city ‘cleaner and safer’.

Peter added: “I’ve seen first-hand the benefits that a successful city centre management service can bring to a city and how a city can thrive when a BID is introduced. I would encourage all the businesses in the proposed BID area to consider the power that a collective voice will give to the city if we all work together.”

Jointly funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council and private sector companies – including Bride Hall and Grosvenor Estates for the next two years – Peter’s role will involve working closely with businesses across the city centre to hear first-hand what their priorities are and what changes they want to see.

Paul Daniels, chairman of CH1 Chester BID Company and managing director of local marketing service The Best of Chester, said: “We have always maintained that having one coherent voice to speak for Chester’s business community is essential and, in Peter, we have found someone who can deliver that 100%.”

For more information about CH1 Chester BID Company and the plans for a BID in Chester, visit www.ch1chesterbid.co.uk .