Banbury Business Improvement District (BID) uses Town Hosts to talk with businesses and organisations in Banbury Town Centre and work with them to promote the area and BID Projects. We caught up with Nate Wilde to find out what a day in the life of a Town Host is like.
Describe your job to – what do you do?
My role is ‘Town Host’. Above all, my main task is to talk to local businesses and organisations about the support they need and how the BID can help. I keep the public informed on our news and projects by tweeting and posting on our social media channels. I also talk to the local Police and District Council to help resolve issues like anti-social behaviour or town centre rubbish. Every day is different and that’s what I love about this job!
How do you promote the town and support the BID’s levy payers?
Firstly, being visible is key. I talk with a number of local businesses every day, acting as the BID’s eyes and ears on the ground. Secondly, I collect information and insights into the operations of the local businesses and explain how by working together we might be able to support them; I feel we’re in an incredible position to make a really positive difference here in Banbury.
What skills do you believe are necessary for a good Town Host?
A positive can-do attitude, flexible approach and being able to listen is important. In short, you must also be prepared to roll your sleeves up at times and deal with whatever the day, weather or people throw at you!
Describe a typical working day.
Banbury BID’s core team is made up of just three members. My role is part-time and I share it with my colleague, Jo Samways. I typically work 4 hours a day, five days a week. Where possible, I split my time evenly between office work and being out in the town. For instance, I may start the day with a plan to catch up on administrative tasks or plan a future project, but end up working on an immediate opportunity to help local businesses. Solving headaches or helping drive business for even a small portion of the town’s businesses leaves me feeling very proud to be part of the BID.
What do you love most about being a Town Host?
I was born in the Banbury area and have always considered this town my home; it’s fantastic to be in a role where my primary goal is to improve it! As a businessman myself, I’m familiar with a lot of the day-to-day challenges business owners face and I’m grateful to be in a position to help so many. I think the BID is something Banbury has needed for a few years and being part of it is exciting.
Tell us the most challenging aspect of your role.
Unpredictability! On the other hand, the varied nature of the role keeps it fresh and exciting! Sometimes an issue arises which is difficult, or out of our control and there’s no quick fix. For example, anti-social behaviour and accessible and affordable parking.
How would you describe Banbury to a stranger?
Friendly and vibrant – an Oxfordshire town full of opportunity.
Here’s a video I shot of the town interviewing some of our businesses about why they chose to open in Banbury.
What are the must-see/things to do when visiting Banbury?
Banbury has something for everyone so choosing just a few things is difficult. Whether you’re looking to shop, dine out, take up a new hobby, book a holiday or need legal or financial advice, Banbury has something for you. Plus, the town’s prime shopping centre is being redeveloped. Have you heard about Castle Quay Waterfront? It’s already attracting a new breed of businesses like Lock29 and Happerley.
Tell us something personal – what do you do outside of work?
My main passion is skiing, or snowsports as a whole and the lifestyle that comes with it. It often surprises people to find out that I operate a snowsports based events company from a small village in Oxfordshire! Even though I’ve answered the question of what I do outside of work with the answer of more work, it really is what I love to do – so more often than not, it feels like a hobby rather than another vocation.
How can people keep up to date with Banbury BID or get in touch with you?
You can follow Banbury BID on Twitter and Instagram using @BanburyBID or on Facebook.com/BanburyBid. Our levy payers can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07483335114.