PARISH Councillors and businessmen in Bishop’s Waltham have lauded the success of their town team.
Headed by Heidi Isa, who was billed as the town’s answer to ‘Mary Portas’, they’re tasked with everything from fundraising and marketing, to setting up new business networks and raising customer service standards.
A council meeting on Tuesday (Jan 13) heard that the team has drawn up a strategy comprising more than 50 actions with the overall aim of ‘future-proofing’ the town.
Addressing the council Mrs Isa said their efforts have so far yielded benefits ranging from increased media coverage to extra grants, such as the £3,600 from the county council towards a website promoting the town.
The Chronicle previously reported how Bishop’s Waltham failed in its bid to be part of retail guru Mary Portas’ high street regeneration scheme.
But the town, with the backing of Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, received a consolation grant of £10,000 and a package of support from the Association of Town Centre Managers. That money was used towards the hiring of Mrs Isa to work as development officer for Bishop’s Waltham, Denmead and Wickham.
Cllr Rob Humby, deputy leader of Winchester City Council, said: “I went round all the businesses in Bishop’s Waltham the other day AND every business commented on what a great job Heidi has done.
“We have funded Heidi’s role but this can become self-funding and she has done an amazing amount and I want to thank her.”