Helston’s first ever BID development officer has been appointed to oversee the business future of the town.

Former Cornwall Council project manager Shirley Moralee will be in charge of consulting with businesses and steering Helston through the process of becoming a business improvement district (BID) over the next 12 to 18 months.

The initial two-year post is being paid for by the Helston Business Improvement Partnership.

Shirley, who began in the post on Monday, told the Packet: “I’m hoping in the next 12 to 18 months to get Helston to a ballot stage, so we can take the BID forward.

“A lot of consultation is required, involving the local community and the businesses – it’s all about them.

“I’m very much a person that wants to go out and be visual rather than hidden behind a desk.”

In the past she has also worked as a business manager for a private consultancy company and has many years of experience in running her own hospitality business on the Channel Islands.

“I’m very au fait about what it’s like to run your own business and the trials and tribulations with that. I can totally relate to what they’re up against,” she said.

“My intention at the moment is to get out and meet as many local businesses as I can, to find out what they feel about the town.”

The mother-of-four lives with her husband and family in the Truro area, the home of Cornwall’s first business improvement district. Since then the city has renewed its involvement in the scheme, with Falmouth and St Austell becoming BIDs.

“I’ve seen how successful BIDs have been in other parts of Cornwall. I felt it was something I could really make a difference with,” said Shirley.

“We’re a lot smaller than Truro but it’s still nice to be able to see what can be achieved.”

She believes that living away from Helston could work in the town’s favour, explaining: “It’s a fresh pair of eyes seeing things in a different light.”

Andy Perry, chairman of the HBIP’s Town Team, said: “We’re very excited to have Shirley onboard and can certainly see us fulfilling our mission to make Helston the friendliest and most prosperous market town in the UK with her help.”