Kingstonfirst chief executive on shaping Kingston town centre for the next five years

Kingstonfirst chief executive Ros Morgan

Kingstonfirst chief executive Ros Morgan

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor

It has been 10 years since Kingstonfirst was established as the UK’s first ever Business Improvement District (Bid).

And now the company is aiming for another five-year term after launching its third business proposal for Kingston at the Rose Theatre last week.

More than 900 businesses will be asked to vote in a secret postal ballot on Kingstonfirst’s proposals between May 29 and June 26.

But for Kingstonfirst chief executive Ros Morgan, the most important thing is that businesses vote in the first place.

She said: “It’s really important people vote, whether it’s yes or no. If loads of people vote and vote no, then the Bid shouldn’t exist anyway, and we’ll all get new jobs.”

This Is Local London:

The Kingstonfirst team

Kingstonfirst’s third business proposal focuses on three key aims – marketing, managing and shaping Kingston.

Some new ideas are already in place – such as the regenerated ancient market place, which has been given its own brand, website and magazine even before it is finished.

Others, such as the Rangers clean up team and the ambassadors – who help tourists and visitors get around Kingston - are a familiar sight in the town already.

Mrs Morgan said: “There is a lot of the same stuff because it works, and there’s no point changing it.”

“But other things do change, and this time we’re really going to push the independent shops.

“The reality is now with online shopping, even if you’ve got big brands, you have to have added attractions – and that for us is the river, the markets and the independents.”

Click below to see Kingstonfirst's video celebrating 10 years as town centre manager

Kingstonfirst will also take a different approach to this year’s Ride London cycling festival, which last year saw thousands of visitors come to town, but virtually nobody shop.

Mrs Morgan said: “Some of the businesses lost 60 per cent of their trade on that day, and that’s where we come in.

“So this time we’ll be promoting Kingston as a weekend destination.

“We’ll be saying to families why not come down on Friday or Saturday and get to know Kingston.”

She added: “I meet with businesses and they tell me there are still issues and there are still problems, and I agree with them.

“But that for me is why you need a Bid to sort out those issues.

"The question is - can you afford not to have Kingstonfirst?

"My answer is no."

For more information about the proposal, visit the website.

What do you think? Do Kingstonfirst deserve a third term? Leave your comments below or email letters@surreycomet.co.uk

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:19am Sat 17 May 14

S Leader says...

Let us hope this disgusting outfit gets thrown out . They claim to have regenerated our market place etc etc when in reality they have destroyed it and ALSO WRECKED OUR MEMORIAL Garden in the process. As for the new market magazine and web site, they are both farcical and inaccurate with names of stallholders and history completely wrong.
It would also appear that the residents and council tax payers have no voice on these barmy shameful ideas but that people from miles away from the borough are employed to advise. Perhaps this is seen as impartial, but in fact means they have no inside knowledge of the area..
Let us hope this disgusting outfit gets thrown out . They claim to have regenerated our market place etc etc when in reality they have destroyed it and ALSO WRECKED OUR MEMORIAL Garden in the process. As for the new market magazine and web site, they are both farcical and inaccurate with names of stallholders and history completely wrong. It would also appear that the residents and council tax payers have no voice on these barmy shameful ideas but that people from miles away from the borough are employed to advise. Perhaps this is seen as impartial, but in fact means they have no inside knowledge of the area.. S Leader
  • Score: 3

10:23am Sat 17 May 14

pinky107 says...

if shops lost 60% trade due to the Ride London cycling festival and that disrupts more than the shops , then it would make more sense to get rid of the festival . it's a pain .
how much are the ambassadors costing us , when sign posts could tell people where to go ?
the new market looks crap , it's taken the old kingston look away , after all kingston is an old market town and it's what brings people to kingston , the heritage and history not some modern day rubbish .
the rose theatre should shut , ant other business that loses money year after year would close down , just like woolworths but they got no help .
we as tax payers should have a vote on whether we want this group as it's OUR money that pays for tthem and their aweful ideas to become reality .
if shops lost 60% trade due to the Ride London cycling festival and that disrupts more than the shops , then it would make more sense to get rid of the festival . it's a pain . how much are the ambassadors costing us , when sign posts could tell people where to go ? the new market looks crap , it's taken the old kingston look away , after all kingston is an old market town and it's what brings people to kingston , the heritage and history not some modern day rubbish . the rose theatre should shut , ant other business that loses money year after year would close down , just like woolworths but they got no help . we as tax payers should have a vote on whether we want this group as it's OUR money that pays for tthem and their aweful ideas to become reality . pinky107
  • Score: -1

1:31pm Sun 18 May 14

jazz1964 says...

lets not forget that the managers make big bucks whilst the rangers that do all the work are on minimum wage kingstonfirst is a joke
lets not forget that the managers make big bucks whilst the rangers that do all the work are on minimum wage kingstonfirst is a joke jazz1964
  • Score: -2

1:36pm Sun 18 May 14

jazz1964 says...

kingstonfirst crap management and crap employers
lets all vote for them!
kingstonfirst crap management and crap employers lets all vote for them! jazz1964
  • Score: -3

10:03am Tue 20 May 14

Twotonted says...

An interesting video! It shows the wonderful marketplace (before it became a permanant building site) and the old May Merrie (rather than this years shambolic May event). So what has Kingstonfirst done for us?
An interesting video! It shows the wonderful marketplace (before it became a permanant building site) and the old May Merrie (rather than this years shambolic May event). So what has Kingstonfirst done for us? Twotonted
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree