BUSINESSES in Bradford city centre can rest assured that their interests are in safe hands...

The latest recruit to Bradford BID has joined the team from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs in Shipley – which once handled the Queen’s taxes – where she was employed as a security services manager.

June Grodecki is only the second person to have taken on the uniquely-titled role of “Bradvocate”, created by Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) to help provide a welcoming face for the city centre, greeting visitors, liaising with businesses and patrolling the area to help keep it clean and safe.

Her appointment follows that of Sarah Crossley, who joined the BID as the city’s first official Bradvocate in July.

June, who has just started her 30-hours-a-week post, said that after almost 40 years with HMRC, mainly in administrative roles, she was itching to get stuck into the BID team’s work.

“I’m a cheerful and friendly person so I love meeting new people and I’m passionate about Bradford and its prospects,” she said. “There has never been a more important time to support the city centre and the businesses that work here and I love all the effort and imagination that the BID has been putting in to helping get them back on their feet – as well as all the great things they were doing before lockdown.

“Bradford hasn’t looked this clean and smart for years and I’m really happy to be part of an organisation that is doing so much to help local people be proud of their city again.

“I’m really excited to see how much we can achieve in the future.”

June, who is Bradford born and educated, started her career as an information officer at Bradford Council but soon left to join HMRC, moving from admin to security – originally as a guard – in 2014.

Bradford BID chair Ian Ward said: “Our Bradvocates must be genuine advocates for Bradford, people who are really passionate about their city and enthusiastic about telling others how great they think it is and June is the perfect fit for that role.”

The latest appointment is the third new part-time post announced by the BID this year, all of them focussed on helping and supporting city centre businesses.

BID manager Jonny Noble said: “With so many of our plans being forced on to the back burner by the pandemic and the lockdown, we have concentrated all our efforts on ensuring businesses receive the support, advice and guidance they need to help them re-establish themselves on the way to normal service being resumed.

“The appointment of our business engagement officer, Nikki Chadburn, and now the two Bradvocates, means we are better equipped to provide that support and talk directly to owners and managers about exactly what they need as we focus on getting Bradford back to business.

“As well as that face-to-face contact with traders, though, our Bradvocates will be a big part of making sure that everyone who comes here gets the message that Bradford is an awesome city with a huge amount to offer.

“So I’m really looking forward to working with our new look team as we strive to help the city centre through the challenges ahead.”