Pub manager Caroline Wrenn is a key figure in the way businesses are affected in the town centre where she works.
Caroline, who runs The Bottle of Sack, in Sutton Coldfield, is a voluntary director for BID, Business Improvement District, in the West Midlands town.
The BID initiative involves every business in the town and works together to improve the environment, with various schemes and projects.
Caroline said: “The BID scheme was voted in and has been running for a year; it will continue for a further four years, before the town votes again for a possible next term.
“It is a voluntary-run scheme, totally independent of the local council, with the board made up of people from a variety of businesses, including cinema, solicitors, the shopping mall, council members and police.
“Every business contributes an annual fee, with the amount depending on its size – and that money is invested into the town centre to make improvements and, in turn, to help our businesses.”
The first year’s focus was on a cleanup campaign, jet-washing pavements, fixing and installing better signposts, planting hanging baskets and generally improving the look of Sutton Coldfield’s town centre.
The improved Christmas lights were a popular addition – and a regular farmers’ market is a favourite with the locals. Future schemes also include a ‘dining-out week’, with the town’s restaurants and pubs, including The Bottle of Sack, offering promotions on meals to encourage dining out.
Caroline said: “We believe it to be the sum of lots of little things which makes Sutton Coldfield a great place to shop, eat, drink and relax.”
Pictured (l to r): Venna Plaha-Bassi (BID Director), Andy Jackson (BID Director), Mike Bushell (BID Manager), Stephen Roberts (BID Director) and Caroline Wrenn.