SHE used to manage nightclubs in London, now, Lucy Boazman is responsible for ensuring Basingstoke businesses thrive, as the chief executive of the Business Improvement District (BID).

BIDs are set up in towns and cities across the country to allow the business community and local authorities to work together to improve the local trading environment.

Lucy joined the Basingstoke BID, called Basingstoke Together, this year, having previously managed the Camberley BID.

With more than 500 businesses in the town centre area, Lucy has an important role to ensure they are all supported, running promotional events to encourage people into the town and organising training and networking sessions.

The 30-year-old, from Farnborough, explained how the priorities for each five-year period are set: “All the businesses are given a business plan that was created through consultation with them in the lead up to that point. It’s given to every business and they get to read through it and they get to vote whether they want to be part of it. We need more yes votes and these are given a rateable value to make sure it’s not just the big businesses getting it through. Once we get a yes vote, which we did at the end of 2016, we then run for five years after which we review what we have done and create another business plan for the next five years.”

There are around 320 BIDs across the country, funded by local businesses which pay to be part of the scheme.

Lucy’s role is to oversee the development of the BID and work with the board of directors, made up of local business owners or store managers, in the town centre.

Lucy attended Farnborough Sixth Form before moving to Australia where she worked for a children’s charity, returning to England eight years ago.

With a background in marketing, she previously working for a golf club before managing various nightclubs in London.

Her new role might seem a world away from the glamour of a job in the city, but she said the skills she picked up assist her in her chief executive role.

“It’s like managing a company so I have to manage everything from finance to staff so a lot of my skills are transferable.”

Lucy has been planning several initiatives to support businesses in the town centre, including a sports event which took place in August, offering a range of free activities for families to enjoy, including soft play for the younger visitors.

In July, the BID ran a campaign focusing on the independent businesses in the town centre and highlighting their services on social media.

“There’s a really nice mix of businesses in Basingstoke,” said Lucy, “We have Festival Place and The Malls which have a good retail mix and then the eclectic mix at the Top of Town in the historic part of Basingstoke, and that’s where most of the independent businesses are. It’s a mix of historic and modern and Basingstoke is a really positive place to be.”

Asked what she enjoys about her new role, she said: “I really like getting to understand how different businesses work. We work with everyone from Debenhams to smaller independent businesses to see how they operate and that’s really interesting. There is a real variety in Basingstoke and each offers something different to the town.”