Leeds - An economic powerhouse
Leeds is the UK’s largest financial and business services centre outside London, employing over 124,000 people in the sector, and has a population of 750,000. It has consistently been ranked as one of the UK’s top five retail destinations with over 1,000 shops and is home to Kirkgate Market - where Michael Marks of Marks & Spencer opened his penny bazaar in 1884 - which still operates as the largest covered market in Europe.
The Leeds Business Improvement District
Leeds Business Improvement District (BID) has three key aims; to raise standards, raise awareness and add value by doing more things better for the benefit of all the businesses in the BID area. That includes retail, hospitality, commercial and corporate, arts and culture, leisure, third and public sector including the local authority and the NHS trust represented by Leeds General Infirmary.
A Branded Welcome
As part of the BIDs commitment to ‘raise the game for the city’ and develop ‘The Leeds Welcome’, one of the proposed projects, which had been included in the BIDs business plan, was a Branded Welcome. The proposal outlined the need to create a uniformed team of BID Ambassadors to provide a meet and greet service, which could include static and mobile information points as the need arises. These Ambassadors could act as the eyes and ears for the city both reporting on standards of cleansing and enforcement whilst also acting as an information conduit to individual businesses as required.
Launching The Welcome Ambassadors in Leeds
The launch of The Welcome Ambassadors in Leeds marks a further significant step in the growth of The Welcome People, and consolidates its offering in the Northern Powerhouse.
“We are excited to be working with Leeds BID and play a vital role in its ambitious plans to provide first-class visitor welcome and placemaking services on an unprecedented scale.”
David Miller, Director, The Welcome People
"I am delighted Leeds BID has been able to bring this ambitious project to the city centre, directly funded by business and bringing a range of benefits to our businesses. The Welcome Ambassadors in Leeds will enhance the quality of the professional welcome experience for all city users and push Leeds forward as a friendly, welcoming destination for business and leisure visitors, fulfilling an important objective within our business plan.”
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive, Leeds BID
The Welcome Ambassadors - What they'll do
The Ambassadors will deliver expert guidance and knowledge to visitors, directing them to the most relevant locations for their particular needs and pro-actively inform city users of the best offers and promotions, seeking to cross-sell the best opportunities within retailers, food and leisure, cultural and business destinations. The team will always carry marketing materials to support their work and we would encourage businesses to provide us with any promotional materials they feel would be beneficial to the Ambassadors work; the team have a kitbag and will be only too happy to carry and distribute appropriate materials.
The service has been closely integrated with current city centre service teams and will bring a complimentary enhancement, working in a collaborative approach to bring multiple benefits to the city centre management. An additional facet of the team’s collaborative work in this area, will be to act as eyes and ears on the streets everyday, reporting any cleansing and behavioural issues to the relevant bodies, offer a mobile information service on these issues which will further enhance and improve the physical welcome environment and enjoyment for all within the city centre.