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Emma Thornton, Luis Navarro and Roger Allen join board of Cambridge BID


By Paul Brackley


From left, Roger Allen, centre manager of Lion Yard Shopping Centre, Emma Thornton, CEO of Visit Cambridge & Beyond, and Luis Navarro, the owner and director of Nanna Mexico. Picture: Keith Heppell
From left, Roger Allen, centre manager of Lion Yard Shopping Centre, Emma Thornton, CEO of Visit Cambridge & Beyond, and Luis Navarro, the owner and director of Nanna Mexico. Picture: Keith Heppell

Trio strengthens board representing 1,200 city businesses

Ian Sandison, chairman of Cambridge BID
Ian Sandison, chairman of Cambridge BID

A tourism expert, restaurant owner and a shopping centre manager will help to steer Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID).

The trio have been appointed to join the board for the BID, which represents the interests of 1,200 city businesses.

Emma Thornton, CEO of Visit Cambridge & Beyond, Luis Navarro, the owner and director of Nanna Mexico, and Lion Yard shopping centre manager Roger Allen join existing board members at the start of the BID’s second five-year term.

Emma was involved in setting up Cambridge BID initially and has regularly contributed to board meetings during its first five years.

Roger Allen, Emma Thornton and Luis Navarro have joined the board of Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID). Picture: Keith Heppell
Roger Allen, Emma Thornton and Luis Navarro have joined the board of Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID). Picture: Keith Heppell

“I am excited about the opportunities that term two offers for closer collaboration between Cambridge BID and Visit Cambridge & Beyond, which is why it makes sense to formalise my commitment at this point, by joining the Cambridge BID board,” she said.

Emma has worked locally and nationally in city centre management and tourism since 2002. She is vice chair of the national Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) and was formerly head of tourism and city centre management at Cambridge City Council.

Nanna Mexico opened its third Cambridge restaurant in November 2017.

Luis, a former international corporate lawyer who also runs a mobile food van franchise and a Norwich restaurant, said: “I joined the board because I love this city and I believe whatever we do to keep it a special place has consequences all over the world. History is made here, and we are part of it.

“As an independent business owner, I am convinced that local and independent businesses have a huge responsibility to create a unique kind of city, one that can serve and build its community flexibly, ethically and sustainably.”

Roger, who has managed shopping centres in the UK and abroad for 20 years, joined the Lion Yard team in July 2017. He oversees a £1.2million budget and 144,000 sq ft of retail space.

“Cambridge is an amazing city,” said Roger. “I’m very proud to be working here. I have always managed ‘community’ shopping centres and I’m keen to get involved in all aspects of the Cambridge community and its businesses, assisting Cambridge BID in any way I can to make Cambridge an even better place to visit.”

Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID, said: “We are delighted to welcome these three new members to our talented and proactive board.

“The new appointments reflect the sector diversity to be found within the organisation’s leadership, as we seek to represent and promote the interests of retail, leisure and professional businesses across this world-class city.”

Cambridge BID was elected to a second five-year term last October, when 80 per cent of businesses in its area voted for it to continue. Businesses in the BID zone – which has been expanded to incorporate the CB1 business district – pay a fee based on their rateable value. Smaller businesses pay no fee.

The BID, launched in April 2013, works to promote Cambridge businesses and attractions, organises events like night markets, offers collective buying opportunities and set up the city ambassadors’ scheme.

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