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‘Driving footfall and creating a vibrant and safe Inverness’: New Inverness Bid director shares her vision for the city

Lorraine McBride appointed the new Inverness BID. Picture by Sandy McCook.
Lorraine McBride appointed the new Inverness BID. Picture by Sandy McCook.

The new director of Inverness Bid has been announced.

Lorraine Bremner McBride will head up the business improvement district, supporting small, local businesses through marketing and social media.

Inverness, while a small and compact city, is the largest settlement for miles in a large geographical area like the Highlands.

This makes it the prime destination for tourists travelling wanting to explore the more retail and urban aspects the Highlands offer.

Many local businesses are recovering from the pandemic and attempting to navigate the pressures that come with rising prices.

Mrs Bremner McBride has worked extensively within Inverness city centre for several years in both the private and third sectors.

More recently, she worked as business development manager at the Inverness, Badenoch and Strathspey Citizens Advice Bureau, advising people on their business interests.

When asked what makes Inverness an attractive destination for business, Mrs Bremner McBride said: “Inverness has all the amenities that you would expect from a vibrant, safe modern city but what makes Inverness an attractive place to live, work and visit and what makes it special is that people matter to the businesses in the city centre.

“Inverness is rich with history and culture and given the links to the rest of the UK provides an ideal location for businesses to be based and to thrive.”

Drive footfall

Recently it has been a struggle for some businesses to survive given the rise in prices across numerous aspects.

On Saturday, July 2, city centre vegan restaurant Alleycat closed for the final time after efforts to save the business failed.

There is hope that with a new director at the helm, Inverness Bid can still work towards helping businesses come through the tough times.

Tourists have been returning to Inverness now that restrictions have lifted. Picture by Sandy McCook.

Chairman of Inverness Bid, Peter Strachan said: “The Bid board is delighted that Lorraine has decided to join our organisation and we are excited to have her extensive knowledge, skills and local experience.”

Mrs Bremner McBride said: “I look forward to working with our city centre businesses and our key partners to continue to make Inverness a welcoming and attractive City for all who live, work and visit in our great Highland capital.

“I see the role as being one of service and Bid recognises that the city centre is made up of a wide range of businesses who have different needs and priorities.

“We have nearly 700 levy payers – the vast majority of the city centre – but of course there are some smaller and charitable sector activities who fall below the BID contribution threshold.

“We’d hope that the work that BID does in driving footfall and creating a vibrant and safe Inverness is however beneficial to all.

“This year’s cruise programme is one of the biggest yet – and together with the tour coaches from elsewhere in the UK and Europe we’ve already seen many more thousands of visitors get a warm welcome from BIDs coach ambassadors before enjoying a few hours sampling everything our amazing city has to offer.”

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