Cheltenham BID appoints new Chief Executive

Wednesday April 3, 2024

The Board of Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) is pleased to announce the appointment of Francesca Inman as their new Chief Executive, starting on Tuesday 7th May. 

Francesca joins the BID from Bristol BIDs; Bristol City Centre BID, Broadmead BID, and Redcliffe and Temple BID, where she is currently Head of Projects.  She brings a wealth of experience with previous roles in the regeneration team at North Somerset Council creating Weston’s first co-working hub and in a variety of event and technology positions.

Francesca will be responsible for leading the work of the BID which has seen £3.8m invested into the town centre since its formation in 2016.

Alex Rose, Chair of Cheltenham BID said: “I am delighted that Francesca has agreed to lead Cheltenham BID as we approach a crucial phase leading up to our reballot in 2026.

Following a rigorous recruitment process, Francesca emerged as the top candidate among a highly competitive pool. Myself, the Board, and the entire BID team are very excited for the future”.

Francesca Inman said: ‘’I am thrilled to be joining Cheltenham BID as its new Chief Executive to continue the great work that the team have achieved over the past 8 years.  I can see just how much Cheltenham has changed since the implementation of the BID and the positive impact it is having. I am eager to meet all the local businesses, communities, and partners to ensure we continue to support and celebrate Cheltenham as the fantastic town it is. Together, I am looking forward to embarking on a journey of collaboration, prosperity and building a legacy that resonates far beyond our streets’’.

In July 2021, the BID secured its second term with a yes vote totalling 86% from the more than 300 businesses (a 46% turnout) that responded to the ballot and a 90% yes vote by rateable value.

Under the leadership of Heath Gunter, the BID has successfully navigated its over 700 businesses through the pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis with Cheltenham’s economy proving to be resilient by outperforming many larger towns and cities both nationally and regionally.

The BID has established several annual events including the Cheltenham Observation Wheel, Cheltenham Food + Drink week, Wimbledon Big Screen, the Around Town programmes that bring Cheltenham’s famous Jazz, Music, Science and Literature Festivals onto the town’s streets and the Christmas Launch event.

As well as events the BID provides vital support for businesses, facilitates partnerships, provides guidance, represents and champions town centre businesses and delivers cost saving initiatives. They have been responsible for initiatives such as BID in Bloom and Tidy Up Cheltenham which have both enhanced the look of the town centre for residents and visitors. Their Ambassadors have also facilitated partnerships and played an important role in welcoming visitors to the town centre.

The BID’s second term runs through to 31st March 2026 and sees delivery focused on four priority areas: business support, marketing & promotion, town centre events and townscape enhancements.