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New man at the helm of Queensferry Ambition

Business group Queensferry Ambition has a new project manager. Sunil Varu takes over from Maggie Mitchell, who left for a new job last week.

Queensferry Ambition is formally known as a business improvement district or BID. It promotes the local area and provides business support services to firms in the South Queensferry and Dalmeny communities. The organisation is funded from levies paid by local businesses.

Mr Varu brings a wealth of experience in BIDs and town centre management and has already been meeting local businesses people and community leaders. He said: “I’m delighted to take up the role at Queensferry Ambition. I previously worked as town centre manager in Ayr and Kirkcaldy and also developed BIDS in Kirkcaldy, Paisley, Largs and Dunoon. I also managed the BIDS in Paisley and Kirkcaldy.

“In Queensferry I want to provide a great service to all our member businesses. I’ve been shadowing Maggie Mitchell before she left for her new role and have been meeting a number of local businessmen and women – as well as community partners. I’ve been keen to hear their views on the town, how they perceive the BID and how Queensferry Ambition can help in the months and years to come.”

Queensferry Ambition became Scotland’s 12th business improvement district after a “yes” vote from local businesses in 2012. There are now over 35 BIDs in the country. Firms in the South Queensferry area will be balloted in 2017 to continue beyond the summer.

Said Mr Varu: “The BID has delivered good services and attracted additional money into the town since it was set up. From my experience, working across Scotland, I firmly believe that Queensferry Ambition can continue to add significant value to local businesses and the wider community.

“I will continue the work of the BID to deliver projects but also encourage businesses to vote Yes for a new term for the BID in 2017.”

The new project manager said he was also keen to meet with firms critical of the organisation. There have been negative comments published about Queensferry Ambition on social media. Mr Varu said: “I’m aware of the comments – but am also aware of the very positive feedback the BID receives from other quarters. If some businesses feel Queensferry Ambition can do better, I want to hear from them. We’re here to help all our members.”

Queensferry Ambition has recently contacted all its members asking them to fill out a short survey giving feedback on its work and where businesses believe priorities lie.

The Reverend David Cameron, the chairman of Queensferry Ambition, said: “Mr. Varu has strong marketing skills in tourism and leisure and a wealth of experience of BIDs and town centre management. He was a previous Director of the Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), and Chair of ATCM in Scotland. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role in Queensferry and I’m confident he will provide excellent support to local businesses.

“Our aim is to promote South Queensferry and Dalmeny as a quality destination for businesses, residents and visitors. We also want to deliver improvements that local businesses genuinely want.”

The Reverend Cameron also praised the outgoing project manager Maggie Mitchell.

“Maggie was with us just over a year and did an excellent job. She has accepted a new role much closer to her home in Fife. We thank her for her hard work and wish her every success for the future.”

The Reverend Cameron added: “The views of local businesses are crucial to what we do. If we can do something better – or help local firms differently – we want to hear about it. Future activities must be shaped by member businesses – to deliver what they want.”

Find out more about Queensferry Ambition here: www.queensferryambition.co.uk

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