Ex-street ranger vows to take town to new heights as she lands on top role

Ipswich Central street rangers

Ipswich Central street rangers on patrol in Ipswich town centre - Credit: Warren Page

A former town street ranger has risen through the ranks to head up operations at the Business Improvement District (BID) company she joined 13 years ago.

Sophie Alexander-Parker joined Ipswich Central six months after the company was launched in 2007 and has been with it ever since.

She has now been promoted to chief operating officer for the BID, which represents more than 630 town centre and waterfront businesses.

The promotion sees her taking an executive role, supporting chief executive Paul Clement and executive chairman Terry Baxter.  Ipswich Central is part of a network of 270 BIDs in England.

Ms Alexander-Parker said she was looking forward to “continuing to build on the strong progress made to ensure that Ipswich fulfils its potential in becoming the vibrant successful and dynamic county town it deserves to be”. 

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“There is no doubt that the last few months have been turbulent, so now it is more important than ever, that Ipswich Central is seen as the anchor in the storm, working collaboratively with civic, business and education leaders in the wider Ipswich Vision group, for the betterment of our town,” she said. 

“As a passionate advocate for digital innovation, one of my first jobs will be to help to champion the proposals put forward to government to look to secure funding so that the vitally important digital ecosystem for Ipswich can be created.” 

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Mr Clement said: “Sophie is one of the most experienced individuals in the BID industry. 

“I know that she will bring a fresh outlook to Ipswich and build on our passion to make it a great place for businesses to thrive and for visitors to enjoy.

“The biggest challenge and therefore the biggest opportunity for Ipswich is the changing nature of high streets, accelerated by Covid, but nonetheless a challenge that has been upon us for some time. 

“Ipswich is a great place, with many opportunities. I am sure that Sophie’s enthusiasm and expertise will see her lead the operational team, working together with stakeholders, partners and businesses to help further develop a strong town with a bright future.

“The town centre must change, and as the BID for Ipswich we are committed to the biggest challenge of our time.”

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