Former police chief to lead Bid4Bury

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A FORMER chief of police in Bury St Edmunds has been appointed as the chief executive of the town centre improvement organisation Bid4Bury.

Mark Cordell, 48, from Pakenham, joined the police aged 16 and has worked as a senior policing manager since 1998, having held positions as sector commander for Bury and as area commander for West Suffolk.

He was involved in bringing the safer neighbourhood teams to West Suffolk and helped to develop an award-winning scheme in Ipswich aimed at improving the area’s night-time economy.

Mr Cordell said: “I have had a wonderful first part of my career and now I’m looking forward to something slightly different, but something I believe can be just as challenging and rewarding, for the rest of my career.

“I’m not naive or complacent, I realise it’s going to be challenging and interesting but I’m really looking forward to it.”

He says he is keen to use Bury’s mix of night-time and day-time economies to create a more vibrant town and a more attractive place for visitors.

And he wants to learn about the priorities of the 400 businesses he will be working with and learn what the public wants, so that key events like the Christmas fair, the Festival, the continental market, the flower market and the various ceremonial events that Bury hosts can be coordinated to maximise their potential for businesses.

The father of three said he did not see a move into the private sector as being a huge jump and believes his experience of working with partnerships, including local councils, the police and the media, as well as his leadership qualities and communication and negotiation skills will all be useful and relevant in his new role.

He said: “Having lived here for more than 20 years, I know what a lovely town Bury is and my aim is to work with businesses to ensure that we better promote the town and make it more attractive environment for visitors.

“Many of the initiatives I have worked on with the constabulary, whether they are aimed at reducing crime, anti social behaviour or making communities safer have elements that can be adopted by Bid4Bury.”

Paul Haynes, interim chairman of Bid4Bury, said:” There was a great deal of interest in the chief executive’s post and a very strong field of candidates.

“Mark impressed us, not only with his leadership skills, but also as someone who knows Bury extremely well and who will be a great ambassador for the town.

“One of the key remits of Bid4Bury is to enhance the safety and security measures already in place, for example we’re now providing street rangers, and I am looking forward to working with a chief executive who has a wealth of experience in managing these areas.”

Mr Cordell’s new role, which will start on February 7, will replace the town centre manager position previously held by Steve Peters, who helped to bring Bid4Bury into existence and will be presented with an award for business excellence in 2011.