Go! Southampton has made the exciting step of appointing its CEO, who will lead the Business Improvement District in its mission to build a world-class city centre.
After an extensive search and recruit activity a new Chief Executive has been selected in Jon Walton, who brings 30 years of retail/leisure management experience to the role including Shopping Centre Management in Glasgow, head of marketing for DTZ, looking after over 60 retail schemes and most recently City Centre Manager for the BID in Plymouth.
“We are delighted to have appointed Jon, who comes to Southampton with valuable industry experience to assist the Board in putting into action the pledges that were voted for in November. Myself and fellow directors of the BID, who are representative of all business sectors across the BID area, cannot wait to get cracking on delivering on our initiatives for improvements to Southampton’s City Centre”, said Tim Keeping of The Marlands Shopping Centre and director on Go! Southampton’s interim board.
Jon Walton will join Go! Southampton on 22nd May and get to work on making the business plan that businesses voted on a reality.
“I am delighted to have been appointed as Chief Executive of Go! Southampton and to be able to take a leading role in delivering its ambitions, the ambitions of businesses in Southampton. There is a very real opportunity to help propel Southampton City Centre to a very competitive place and I look forward to working with businesses to get to grips with this opportunity. The chance to help shape the organisation in conjunction with the board and levy payers was just too good to turn down, despite being very happy in Plymouth. I am from Bath originally, despite being based in Scotland until 2015, and I used to travel to Southampton a great deal to see my Aunty and for many trips to the Isle Of Wight! I very much look forward to meeting more of Southampton’s businesses when I start work at the end of May.”
Go! Southampton will run for an initial term of five years but will be working hard to ensure that businesses benefit from the very beginning. As well as building a strong organisation delivering benefits for businesses in Southampton over the long-term, one of Walton’s first challenges will be ensuring that high priority issues are tackled quickly and effectively. Walton will be building a team and working in close partnership with businesses and other existing organisations across the city to help achieve this.
Go! Southampton’s early priorities under Walton’s leadership will be to work with partners to start influencing big issues like transport, evening parking, cleansing and maintenance operations, to improve coordination of the city’s marketing and to build a base of metrics that the city centre’s performance can be measured against.