Our congratulations to Anthony who has been appointed chairman of the Blenheim Business Association!

Core Advice are proud supporters of the Blenheim Business Association who are working to implement strategic plans for improving the town centre. Director Anthony Mullen was elected chairman at the first meeting of the new executive committee, which were appointed last month.

Former chairman Tim Thomas was elected deputy chairman, and Accounting Plus owner Lynette Rayner was elected treasurer. 

Mullen said the group was looking at implementing its strategic plan, which was devised last year, however without any source of funding he was wary of "biting off more than we can chew".

He said Rayner was looking at funding options ahead of the next committee meeting on April 6.

More than 100 businesses had supported the Business Improvement District last year, which showed businesses were prepared to fund the group to improve the town centre, Mullen said.

As a result, a voluntary membership fee might be a good way of going forward, he said.

Some of the goals in the strategic plan included, establishing a strong brand identity for the town centre, developing relationships with the Marlborough District Council and other groups and encouraging more al fresco dining in Blenheim.

There was already a group of members working with the council on the town centre upgrade, to prioritise where the $2 million allocated to the project should be spent.

Mullen said other groups, of committee members and businesspeople, could be set up to focus on different parts of the plan, like promotions and marketing, and developing more al fresco dining.

This would be a good way of subdividing the work, which was in danger of becoming too consuming around other business commitments, he said.

Mullen said he was very positive about his new role and his work on other committees, including chairing the Renwick School board of trustees, gave him the necessary experience.

"My main role will be keeping everyone focused on the strategic plan," he said.

"The whole idea of the business association is the revitalisation of the CBD, to make it something people are proud of and where people want to go shopping."

 - The Marlborough Express