The two St Peters Quarter Rangers have returned to the area this week (w/c April 3) in the first stage of the St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) five-year programme.

Nikki Matthews and Dave Wilson were a familiar sight in the area during the previous St Peters Quarter BID programme but were one of the many services that were lost when the BID finished last September.

Following a successful re-ballot of local businesses, the new BID officially started on April 1 and the Rangers have been re-appointed by the BID Board.

Nikki Matthews previously worked in retail before joining the Ranger team and Dave Wilson was a police officer for 30 years.

Their primary role is to support the businesses and work closely with our Streetpride team and Derbyshire Police.

Helen Wathall, chair of the St Peters Quarter Board and Managing Director of G Wathall & Son funeral directors in Macklin Street, said:

We are delighted to have Nikki and Dave back with us and they have been sorely missed over the past few months. The Rangers are an important resource in the area for sharing information, welcoming visitors and tackling issues that affect our businesses.

Their role is crucial to our business objectives as the safety and security of everyone who works, lives and visits St Peters Quarter is one of the top priorities for the new BID.

The Rangers are a vital uniformed presence on the streets and particularly work closely with the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team to help them address issues of crime and anti-social behaviour in a number of ways.

This includes operating body worn video equipment which has already proved successful in obtaining prosecutions.The return of the Ranger service is a very visible and fitting start to the new BID programme.”

St Peters Quarter BID now has a budget of £1 million, made up of the levy paid by businesses and other income, over its five year term.

This will assist in the achievement of the four key objectives set out in the BID’s Business Plan that provide additional benefits to the whole area:

To provide a safe and inviting environment for visitors, workers and residents to enjoy through:

Working with the police to ensure an appropriate presence and response to issues that affect businesses in the area

A return of the BID uniformed rangers

Working with key agencies to ensure the monitoring and coverage of City CCTV cameras at week-ends and seeking to extend this coverage

Working with landlords and other agencies to improve access and lighting in areas susceptible to crime and anti-social behaviour

To make the area smart and attractive through:

Targeted cleaning

Working with Landlords and others to improve the look of vacant units

Influencing the usage of Festive and creative lighting as well as street furniture

Supporting and encouraging plans and proposals for new buildings, building refurbishments and public realm developments which complement and develop the characteristics of each part of the BID area

To create an enjoyable and easily accessible place to explore for visitors, workers and residents

The BID will work with, lobby and influence Derby City Council, the Police and others to improve:

Parking, traffic flow, cycle routes and pedestrian safety;

The management of peddlers, charity collectors and buskers and other traders

The pedestrian flow between the different parts of St Peters Quarter through information and signage that encourages people to explore the whole area.

To celebrate and promote the area and build the reputation of St Peters Quarter as a great place to shop, relax and be entertained

The BID will work with businesses and other organisations to provide focused events in specific areas to create an animated feel and develop St Peters Quarter as a vibrant place.

The diverse offer of the business sectors in St Peters Quarter and the events will be promoted to visitors and businesses and campaigns will be designed and delivered to focus on the key retail and leisure trading periods.

Helen Wathall added:

The projects and initiatives in the business plan aim to address both the immediate challenges we face on a day to day basis and exert real influence on addressing the more deep rooted challenges of the area, such as our experience of walking down the street and the structural issue of Becketwell.

Through our consultation with fellow local businesses for the re-ballot, it was clear that business confidence for the future in the St Peters Quarter BID is strong.

This is a realistic plan with realistic targets at a realistic cost. It provides us with a clear direction and a new exciting era for this important part of the city centre.

Working together, through the BID, we can now ensure that St Peters Quarter is in the position to reach its full potential and become a thriving area once again.”