Peter Williams, CEO of Better Bankside, to step down

  • Date Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Nicole Gordon appointed new CEO of Better Bankside

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After twenty years at the helm of one of the original Business Improvement Districts (BID), Better Bankside CEO and founder member, Peter Williams, is stepping down from the role this April.
Peter leaves Better Bankside in a thriving position, having just secured a new five-year term of operation following an overwhelming vote of approval in the November 2019 ballot. 92% of Bankside businesses voted for another five years of Better Bankside, the largest ballot majority since it was established. A resounding mandate for the next five years and a tribute to Peter’s innovative and inspirational leadership. The result secured £11m of investment to deliver projects and services that improve the neighbourhood.
Peter has demonstrated outstanding dedication to Better Bankside and to the wider area since 2000, playing a critical role in shaping and enriching the neighbourhood in collaboration with community stakeholders.
Peter Williams commented;

“Given Bankside’s incredible past, it’s been wonderful to be able to play a part in shaping its present, in a manner which ensures its sustainable future. The old adage is that regeneration takes a generation, and the twenty years since I took up the post would qualify as such. The change, both its pace and extent has been somewhat bewildering. To get a handle on that we have calculated that after eleven centuries of endeavour, in the last twenty years the value of the built environment has increased by 50%. Naturally this has thrown up its challenges. The fact that the overall result is overwhelmingly positive reflects well on the myriad of stakeholders who have engaged in the process and been prepared to respond energetically to the task of developing a Bankside fit for the future and responsive to the need of residents businesses, employees and visitors. I am grateful to these stakeholders too numerous to mention for making my experience here such a rewarding one.”

Peter’s legacy at Better Bankside includes:

  • a green vision to underpin the delivery of the Low Line along the path of Bankside’s historic railway arches
  • improvement of 21,500 m² of public space
  • installation of 300 m³ of sustainable drainage
  • diversion of 835 tonnes of waste from landfill
  • innovations to address local air quality, including 97% reduction in emissions as a result of a pilot
  • the first cross-BID recruitment service, EmploySE1
  • becoming the first BID to secure the Green Flag Award for the quality of its green spaces
  • leveraging in £8 million of external funding to supplement the levy from businesses

Chair of Better Bankside, Donald Hyslop, commented;

“Peter has been at the centre of a major period of positive transformation and change in the long history of Bankside. His record speaks for itself as you walk around the vibrant business and cultural district which is Bankside today. His strong, accessible and considered leadership working with a wide range of partners has helped steer a path that has avoided many of the political and community conflicts we see in modern cities. This outstanding leadership extends to Business Improvement Districts and Placemaking in the UK and globally where he is recognised as an innovator and pioneer. I have enjoyed working with Peter as a colleague and friend over the last two decades.  I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Nicole Gordon as the new CEO, and with her we look forward to the next chapter in Bankside’s story. A new term and an extended area with a more diverse community provide exciting opportunities for the future.”

Nicole Gordon has been appointed as Peter’s successor and will take up the role of CEO from April. Nicole is a destinations specialist with a strong track record of strategic place management, marketing, programming and place making in several prominent London locations. Nicole has worked at Better Bankside for six years, serving as Deputy CEO for the past five.