Specialist hired to bring more businesses to this region

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A REGENERATION specialist has been appointed to lead an initiative which aims to encourage more companies to establish a base in Yorkshire.

Andrew Cooper has been hired as chief executive of the Leeds Business Improvement District (BID) company. The 43-year-old will be responsible for leading the work of the BID as it invests more than £12m in the city centre over the next five years. The BID will be working to make the city centre a cleaner, brighter and safer place.

Mr Cooper has been chief executive of the Bath BID since 2011, where he helped secure over £4m of economic investment in the UNESCO World Heritage city. He is credited with putting Bath on the map with a host of high profile business events.

Before that, Mr Cooper was the city centre manager of Bathand Town Centre manager of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Earlier in his career, he cut his teeth in management at Boots in Nottingham where he held a variety of posts ranging from retail distribution to marketing and operations.

Keith Ramsay, the interim CEO of Leeds BID, said: “We are incredibly ambitious about what we want to achieve for the Leeds BID area over the next five years.

“Andrew’s extensive experience will be a tremendous asset for Leeds. He has a superb track record in working with businesses, running high performing organisations and delivering great results.”

Mr Cooper said that developments in retail and office space in recent years proved that the city was out of the recession, and energised to do business on a national and international stage.

He added: “The completion of Trinity Leeds and the development of Victoria Gate, as well as offices on Whitehall and Wellington Street, prove that this is a city with ambition and hunger to grow. Leeds has fantastic potential to improve further.”