Louth Town Partnership has appointed a new town manager with the aim of promoting Louth and the businesses within it.
Nicola Marshall, 48, of Benniworth, has spent most of her life in Lincolnshire including two years in Louth itself.
Her role, which is currently funded by East Lindsey District Council, will be to make sure that the Louth Town Partnership becomes financially independent and sustainable for the future, away from the district council’s money.
Nicola said: “The idea is that over the next two years we look at other ways of funding my post, the partnership and our work.
“Obviously we will always work in partnership with the council, but there are advantages to business improvement groups such as ours being outside of local authority control.
“We will be able to make decisions more quickly, be much more business-led, and we won’t have to go through the
political decision-making process and committees.”
The funding is expected to come through a BID (Business Improvement District), in which local businesses vote on having a levy on the rateable value of their business.
The BID process takes up to 18 months, and if successful would fund the town manager post and other projects for up to five years.
Nicola said: “We want to build on the profile of Louth, both locally and nationally, and build upon what we have already got. We want to make it a better place to live, work and shop.
“The big area that we need to work upon - which is about 80 per cent of our work - is the engagement with businesses in the town and surrounding areas.
“We want businesses to stay here, and draw new businesses in because it’s about the economy and jobs. It’s about businesses as well as retail shops.”
Despite being in the role for just three weeks, Nicola already has big plans to help raise the Louth Town Partnership’s profile - particularly online.
“One of the first jobs I’ve been doing is working on a new website that we’ll be launching, www.lovelouth.org.uk, which will be going live in the next few days”, said Nicola.
“We are offering businesses a free trial period, where they can upload some copy about themselves and the links to their website if they have one of their own.”
The free trial is open to any business that decides to sign up before the end of December. Their profile on the website will be kept there until the end of February, at which point they can choose to continue for £50 per year, or remove their business from the website.
Nicola praised her “absolutely brilliant” events team at the Louth Town Partnership, particularly with regards to last week’s Christmas craft market.
Nicola said: “Jerry and Mick at the Partnership pretty much run all the events, and they got it down to a tee.
“We also had brilliant volunteers with the marshalls, who were there from 5am. We had really good numbers on the day.”