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Maria Manion to become next CEO of Cambridge BID





Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) has announced Maria Manion as its new chief executive.

Maria was previously chief executive at Watford BID for seven years, leading it through two successful ballots, during which organisations voted for it to continue its work.

Maria Manion will take up the role of chief executive of Cambridge BID from July 2023
Maria Manion will take up the role of chief executive of Cambridge BID from July 2023

She will take up the role in early July, taking over from Ian Sandison.

Roger Allen, chair of Cambridge BID, said: “After an extensive recruitment campaign with over a dozen very high-quality applicants, highlighting Cambridge BID’s prominence amongst the BID community, we were delighted to offer Maria the role of CEO.

“Her performance was outstanding with a true passion and energy for the position. I have no doubt Maria will be a great asset for BID levy payers and Cambridge as a whole.”

Cambridge BID provides visitor welcome and business support services across the city.

A collaboration of 1,200 businesses, working together to promote and improve the city, its key projects include the Cambridge City Ambassadors, the Visit Cambridge website and PR for the city, the Love Cambridge gift card, the city-wide Christmas lights programme, Purple Flag safe night out project, the Love Cambridge summer film nights, additional street cleaning, a Mystery Shop programme and work with the office sector.

It is also a key partner in Cambridge’s next art sculpture trail, which will bring a herd of colourful giraffes to the city next year.

During Maria’s time at Watford BID, it was awarded the 2018 British BIDs Place Management Award and 2022 Good Retail Award, a Purple Flag Award for the management of the night-time economy and British BIDs Accreditation.

She worked with the local council to secure £4.8m in grant funding for the redevelopment of the main route from Watford Junction to the town centre.

And Maria hosted delegations from Japan and Korea in the lead-up to Olympics and showcased Watford to other BIDs.

Prior to taking on the role at Watford BID, she was the town centre manager, working with political and business leaders to achieve a BID for the town.

She came to Watford from Newcastle, having worked in regeneration and developing innovative housing solutions, putting in place a council mortgage scheme for housing.

Ian Sandison, the outgoing CEO of Cambridge BID. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ian Sandison, the outgoing CEO of Cambridge BID. Picture: Keith Heppell

Ian announced in February that he was departing Cambridge BID after eight years in the role.

He is taking time out to go travelling from this month, but will remain involved in the BID for two days a week until the new chief executive is in place.



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