Town centre retailers can ‘thrive’ as neighbours of Rushden Lakes, according to the new chairman of Wellingborough’s retail community.
Chris Bailey will take over the reigns as chairman of Wellingborough Business Improvement District from Mick Wilson.
The owner of Bailey’s Travel, whose travel shops have been a feature in the county since 1988, believes the multi-million pound retail and leisure scheme will encourage more visitors to Wellingborough wanting to take advantage of the town’s independent businesses.
Planning schemes like Wellingborough North, including 3,000 houses and employment land, are also key to the long-term economic future of the area.
He said: “There are many opportunities and Wellingborough has huge potential to develop over the forthcoming years.
“The new Rushden Lakes development will bring more visitors to our end of the county, and this is Wellingborough’s opportunity to thrive as people will come to towns like Wellingborough to satisfy other needs not available at larger complexes.”
And he added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Mick Wilson, the outgoing chairman.
“He has been at the helm of the BID with incredible drive and enthusiasm and has motivated Wellingborough’s businesses through a difficult period of uncertainty.
“I look forward to the future and what it may bring for the town.”
Outgoing chairman Mr Wilson, director of Rutherfords Locksmiths, said: “I wish Chris the best of luck in his new role of chairman.
“It has been an honour to serve the local business community over the last five years.
“I was particularly proud of the BID achieving its re-election for a new five-year term in May 2015, which validated the good we are doing for the town’s business community.
“It’s vital small businesses stick together to support each other and celebrate our town both through business and community events.
“Long may it continue.”
The BID is paid for by businesses, through its Discover Wellingborough campaign, which stages events and activities aimed at encouraging people into the town centre.