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Heart of Manchester BID Launches City Hosts Scheme

City Hosts hit the streets of Manchester

Written by . Published on April 16th 2013.

Heart of Manchester BID Launches City Hosts Scheme

THIS WEEK sees the launch of a new initiative from the Heart of Manchester Business Improvement District (BID); City Host.

We had nearly 300 applications and there were some really strong candidates but these individuals really stood out.  I believe we’ve found a great group of people who folks visiting the city centre will really like.

The eight recently recruited ambassadors will be walking the city’s streets, offering help and advice to visitors as well as acting as a point of contact for retailers.

Jane Sharrocks, General Manager of Selfridges Exchange Square and Chair of the BID company, said: “These eight individuals will act as our ambassadors and have the ‘front desk’ role in the city. This is very much a public-facing position where it’s important they present the city in the best possible light to visitors, shoppers, workers and residents. They’re a friendly team and are here to help give top tips on the best shops, bars, attractions and restaurants, so I’d encourage people to ask them for advice.”

The City Hosts scheme has been funded partly by retailers, and the Heart of Manchester Bid, which will see them patrolling 363 days a year covering Market Street, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square and King Street.

City hosts with Cllr KarneyCity hosts with Cllr Karney

Manchester already has a wardens scheme which tackles anti-social behaviour and environmental issues, but the City Host’s will instead act as a directory to guests looking for help or advice.

The new representatives range from 22 to over 50, with a range in their professions and backgrounds as Simon Binns, BID manager, explains: “We have recruited a good mix of people, all passionate about Manchester, including a former soldier recently back from Afghanistan and a basketball player for the Stockport Falcons. 

 "They all have different skills and interests but with one thing in common; they really care about their city. 

 "We had nearly 300 applications and there were some really strong candidates but these individuals really stood out.  I believe we’ve found a great group of people who folks visiting the city centre will really like.”

The recruits have undergone intense customer training with a number of the city’s bigger retailers, and are able to speak ten languages between them.

From giving directions, to public transport information, the hosts will help passer-by’s in the main shopping district to get to know the city centre better.

Councillor Pat Karney, the councillor leading city centre initiatives, sees this a chance to promote Manchester’s rich heritage as well: “It’s fantastic to have this team out on the city centre streets. The City Hosts will act as advocates for our city, and will be on hand to tell overseas visitors, those here for a short break, and day-trippers about our historic roots, cultural identity and sporting heritage. Manchester already offers a great visitor experience and the hosts will add to it."

Hayley HepworthHayley Hepworth

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousApril 16th 2013.

With those hats, they must be on decent salaries!

AnonymousApril 17th 2013.

Is this 17 days too late?

AnonymousApril 17th 2013.

Why dont they try and pick up the litter, get rid of the stupidly loud bad singers on market st, and lower the exceptionally high crime rate in Picc gardens before all of this?!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousApril 18th 2013.

Why don't you pick up the litter?

AnonymousApril 18th 2013.

Because I have a job, pay a huge amount in various taxes. The city centre is a complete mess at the mo, i've never seen it so bad. I walk through Picc gardens and Market st every day and its vile at the moment, covered in litter and the most anti social area of the city.

AnonymousApril 18th 2013.

Agreed Anonymous. The city centre is a state.

Peter JacobsApril 18th 2013.

I saw three of these characters the other evening. I thought they were going to the Blue Brothers show at the Opera House. Hideous uniforms.

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