Local businesswoman, Mary Walker, has become the new head of the Town Centre Partnership in Stafford.
Mary (pictured) is Chief Operating Officer of the Stafford-based Elm Group which provides training and development programmes for businesses. She takes over the reins as chair of the partnership from Chris Lewis.
Mary was born in Stafford and attended the local Blessed William Howard High School and Stafford College and has a wealth of experience in finance, human resources and management. She has been involved with the Town Centre Partnership for many years.
She said: “It is a privilege to be elected chair of the Town Centre Partnership and my aim is to build on the great work already done by Chris and the board to continue to make Stafford a place where people want to live, visit, shop, work and enjoy.
“I am a Staffordian through and through and passionate about our county town. In my new role I want to ensure voices of the businesses are not only heard, but engaged with and acted upon.”
Mary added: “I know there are challenges ahead, just as there are for town centres up and down the country. But there is also a lot of investment coming in to Stafford and as a partnership we need to embrace that and make sure we are best placed to take advantages of the opportunities it will bring.”
Chris, chair for eight years, said: “I am proud to have been part of a partnership that has gone from strength to strength over the years, introducing new initiatives and support to our members with the aim of bringing prosperity to our town.
“I wish Mary and the board all the best going forward and I hope she enjoys the role as much as I did.”
The TCP has more than 100 members and has introduced popular events - the Cheese and Ale and Arts Festivals - as well as run workshops for local businesses in skills such as marketing and social media training.
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Development at the Borough Council, said: “Chris has played a huge role in the TCP and we are grateful for all he has brought to the partnership and what he has done for Stafford over many years.
“I am delighted Mary has taken over the position of chair. I wish her success and, as a council, we will continue to work closely together and support her and the wider partnership in what they aim to achieve for the benefit of Stafford.”
To join the partnership or for further information go to www.stafford-towncentre.co.uk
Press release No. 5431