InSwindon boss is moving on after five happy years
1:00pm Saturday 9th March 2013 in Latest News
SIMON Jackson, the chief executive of town centre management firm InSwindon BID, is to move on in April after almost five years at the helm.
InSwindon, based in the David Murray John Tower, is funded through an extra one per cent levy on business rates in Swindon town centre, which is ring-fenced to be spent on work to improve the trading environment, such as staging events and providing business and marketing support.
Recent events in which InSwindon was involved include the celebrations in Wharf Green for the Olympic torch visiting the town and the Christmas lights switch-on, which saw an estimated 28,000 people pack the town centre to see X Factor star Jahmene Douglas and a host of other local celebrities.
Mr Jackson, who lives in Faringdon and has experience as a publican, wholesaler in the licensing trade and a council licensing officer, will leave on April 12 to take up a post as a national director of Best Bar None, a licensed trade accreditation and award scheme. He will operate from home in his new job.
Mr Jackson, a father of two, said: “I’m in my fifth year now. It’s been a very rewarding and at the same time challenging role.
“I believe that some of the things which I and indeed my team here put in place in the town centre are quality delivery. But for me personally, I think it’s time for a new challenge.
“It’s been a great learning curve for me. I have learned a great deal in Swindon.
“I have come across so many great people and determined people in Swindon and I still firmly believe Swindon will realise its full potential in terms of ongoing developments and all of the proceeding things that are going to be delivered in Swindon.”
Mr Jackson, who joined InSwindon as operations manager in late 2008 and was promoted to chief executive in 2009, said his main achievements included negotiating with Swindon Council in 2010 to reduce the car parking in the town centre to £2 for four hours, a move that was praised by retail expert Mary Portas.
He was also pleased with all the events which have been held, the launch of the loyalty card and the launch of the town centre website.
However things have not always run smoothly.
Last year, InSwindon was forced to cancel a popular market in Havelock Square, and later called-off the Christmas market planned for Canal Walk, after Swindon Council voted to enforce its existing street trading ban.
Council leader Rod Bluh, said: “Naturally I wish him all the success in the future.
“He has been a good partner in working together in moving forward things in the town centre and I think he has made his contribution and we will be sorry to see him go.”
Heydar Faramarzi, president of Swindon Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s really sad. He did a lot of work promoting the town centre and the market and so on. I thought he did a good job.”
The post is being advertised on the Swindon Town Centre website, swindontowncentre.co.uk. Salary is around £40,000, based on experience. Closing date is March 20.