TWO new faces have joined the team urging visitors to “Rediscover Bradford” now lockdown restrictions have been eased.

The city’s Business Improvement District (BID) has appointed two new Bradvocates 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.

Jo Carruthers and John Berry – both Bradfordians – will act as brand ambassadors for the city centre, helping to ensure the best experience for visitors, including tourists, day-trippers, shoppers or people who live and work in the city's central area.

Nikki Chadburn, the BID’s business engagement officer, said: “We’re really excited to welcome our new Bradvocates to the team and to have them providing a friendly face out on the street, meeting and greeting people, now that some of the lockdown restrictions have been eased.

“They’re also a really important part of our engagement with businesses as they start to re-open, allowing us to have face-to-face meetings to help support and advise them and give them a boost as they work towards their recovery.”

BID chairman Ian Ward added: “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 we think John and Jo are perfect for the role.

“They’re both Bradfordians who love the city and we’re sure they will play a big part in helping people to Rediscover Bradford, to come back to the city and look at it with fresh eyes, visiting shops they may never have been in, using services like hair salons and nail bars they’ve not tried before and walking down streets they may have got into the habit of bypassing."

Bradford BID introduced its first Bradvocate in July last year.

Jo Carruthers has experience dealing with tourists and visitors, having worked locally as a museum assistant and at a tourist information office.

She said: “I really care about Bradford. It’s a very genuine place; authentic without airs and graces. I think it has been a bit of an underdog in some ways and I’d like to help change that. I love meeting people and I love promoting Bradford and all it has so it’s the perfect job for me!"

John Berry was until recently a pub landlord at the Hilltop, in Thornton, but when the pandemic struck and the pub was forced to close, he moved into the care sector.

“I’m a proud Bradford lad and I’ve always wanted to give something back to my community,” said John. “So when I saw the Bradvocate role advertised I just thought ‘this is the job for me’.

“I can’t wait to get out there and start interacting with businesses and the public. I’m a real people person and I love the idea of being able to go out and promote the great work the BID is doing and supporting people."