Two new members have joined the Board of Go Forth Stirling to help the BID fulfil its five-year plan.
Mark Crawford, who owns Stirling family restaurant Tutti Pizza, and film producer Meddy Ezrah Ortega were recently appointed to the Business Improvement District’s (BID) Board. They and fellow Board members, who are all volunteers, will support Go Forth Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith and her team as they work to deliver the projects and initiatives outlined in the BID’s second term plan.
Mr Crawford has been in the restaurant business in Stirling for more than 20 years while Ms Ortega is a company director of award-winning Portfolio Films (POFI) which has opened a production office in the city’s Viewfield Place.
Mr Crawford is a long-term supporter of the BID and was delighted to be asked to join the Board. He plans to highlight and address issues which will help make Stirling a more attractive and welcoming place to work, live and shop – one of the main aims of the BID. He says: “I’m keen to pursue issues with the relevant authorities and ensure they are resolved in the interests of making the city centre better. Matters such as the bin problems we had in Dumbarton Road – they were terrible and I kept sending emails and videos to the council and the problem was eventually sorted out.
So I’m happy to run with any issues like that and I’m very impressed with Go Forth Stirling who have helped our business with shopfront and digital grants. “They have been so supportive of us that I jumped at the chance to give something back.
I was delighted and honoured to be asked and it’s a privilege to be on the board – I’m keen to work to make our city centre better so everyone can benefit.”
Ms Ortega is working on a number of projects, including plans for a children’s live action programme ‘Castle McClue,’ set at Stirling Castle, and aims to give the area’s diverse local talent a voice on the global stage. Since moving to Stirling, she has been impressed with initiatives such as the shopfront grant scheme which are improving the look of the city centre and wants to help further those aims.
She said: “I want to be a part of making Stirling a better place to live and work. “I want to see the city flourish and fulfil its potential and I want my eight-year-old daughter to grow up in a safe, clean and beautiful environment. Being involved with Go Forth Stirling is one way of ensuring that.”
Ms Ortega is keen to work with the BID team to see the proposals outlined in the five-year plan come to fruition and hopes her skillset and background will be useful in achieving those goals. She is looking forward to collaborating with other businesses on the development of ‘Castle McClue’ adding: “Our show will be part of the many initiatives, like the Stirling XP app, which are making Stirling more internationally known as Scotland’s historic centre with world-class attractions. Our success will hopefully contribute to the BID’s focus of improving the city environment, increasing footfall and spend and supporting businesses.”
Go Forth Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mark and Meddy to the Board as we work on delivering the projects and proposals set out in our five-year plan. They each bring a different set of skills and experience to the Board which is essential as we seek to implement our many initiatives and as we look for fresh ideas and new impetus moving forwards.”
The Go Forth Stirling Board is chaired by David Black who works at the University of Stirling and also chairs the Stirling City Heritage Trust. The Board is made up of Stirling business people plus members of local and national organisations and include Kevin Moore, of Stirling Arcade, David McDonald, of Burgh Coffee House, Andrew Mitchell, from the Kilted Kangaroo, and Jordan Henderson of House of Henderson.
Also on the Board are Elle McCann from family firm Stirling Gin, Gary Turnbull, director of the Thistles, Paul Waterson, of the Golden Lion Hotel, Keir Stevenson, Place Development Manager at Stirling Council, and Andrew Peel from chartered surveyors Graham & Sibbald.
The Board also has two advisors – Simon Orr, a manager at Stirling-based business support organisation STEP and businessman Cammy Hendry. Go Forth Stirling represents around 600 business owners with a key objective of increasing visitors to the city and devising initiatives to help make it a more welcoming destination for businesses and shoppers.
The BID was set up in 2017 and a successful re-ballot last Spring secured the organisation a second five-year term. For more information visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk