Up close with makes Michele Wilby, executive director of the Colmore Business District
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I am Michele Wilby, executive director of Colmore Business District. We are a Business Improvement District (BID), which is a not-for-profit company funded by a levy on business rates. We provide services, events and other projects in a defined geographical area. There are five BIDs in the city centre and we are the only professional services BID.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
I walk to work most mornings, apart from the occasional bus journey along the Bristol Road. We moved to a mansion flat on Bristol Road a couple of years ago, after moving from the Jewellery Quarter. It is nice to still be able to walk to work. I often go through Southside as part of my journey and it is nice to see their newly-opened Parklet, which provides some welcome greenery in the area.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
Great! A daily walk is good for the body and mind. That said it would be far better with less traffic and pollution, especially on the A38.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK?
Anywhere in the district! We’ve got so much choice and Java Lounge is just around the corner from the office. Off-patch favourites include York’s in Stephenson Street, which is in Retail BID.
A quick bite from Philpotts for breakfast (toast and butter), or somewhere like EAT, or the restaurant on the top floor of House of Fraser – they do a delicious daily roast. And for a special occasion, it’s usually Opus.
I tend to walk around the Jewellery Quarter or wander in the cathedral grounds.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
Obviously Colmore! There’s so much going on, we’ve had many new hospitality venues open so you really are spoiled for choice.
Usually a G&T at Gingers rather than a pint. Or if its wine, Hotel du Vin or Harvey Nichols
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
I love the fact that Colmore Business District is starting to see more of a cafe culture with on-street seating at a number of our venues. Ideally the district needs to be more pedestrian-friendly, which is what we are hoping to achieve with our next public realm works. To meet the targets for pollution reduction in the city centre we need to see fewer cars coming into the core area.