WINCHESTER Business and Improvement District (BID) has appointed a new executive director.

The Board of Directors selected Dr Paul Spencer, who has worked for the BID for the past two years, to take up the position.

Paul was previously the BID manager and began his new role on January 2.

He was born in the city and studied at Peter Symonds College and Winchester University, where he completed his PhD in culture, economy and creative cities.

He is also a trustee of Theatre Royal Winchester and Hat Fair.

Paul said: “I am passionate about place management and supporting businesses and Winchester is a special place to me.

“It is an exciting time for the city, which is facing new challenges and opportunities.

“I am delighted to start the New Year in this new role and to be working closely with our team, our Board of Directors and the local business community to do our part to ensure Winchester continues to be a great place to live, visit and do business.”

He replaces Richard Sutherland who left abruptly in November, and without public explanation, after only two months in the role based at the BID office on Parchment Street.

Before joining the BID in January 2017 as a project manager, Paul worked for 10 years in an economic development role with a particular focus on the creative industries, town centre regeneration and supporting businesses.

He was also involved in the delivery of a two-year programme to promote business growth and regeneration in town centres in southern England and northern France.

Ken Macartney of Pavilion Clothing and chair of the Winchester BID Board of Directors, said: “We are very pleased to have appointed a new executive director.

“Paul brings together more than a decade of experience supporting business communities along with a powerful research background. He will be excellent for both the city and the BID.”

Chris Turner, who has led the team as interim executive director, will continue in his part-time role as business development director.