In May 2019 he started an interim role as Oxford City Centre Manager with Oxford City Council.
“Iain has consistently demonstrated his enthusiasm for and understanding of town centres and what is needed to keep them alive or to revive them. If you have a town centre in need of some support then this is the man to ask.” Town Business Leader
Much of his town and city centres work has focused on the challenges around reducing the number of empty units.
“Sometimes in under 18 months, sometimes longer, but the Oxfordshire town centres we’ve worked have always seen empty shop numbers halved while we’ve been there.”
“Some towns are in decline, definitely. People like @prbi_Iain are doing a wonderful job at trying to save them!!” From Twitter
Iain’s town centres track record includes:
…for 5 years, from March 2013, with #townteam colleague Mim Norvell (supported by Neil Wild), driving the GBHighSt Award-winning Wantage town centre vitality project, which saw him focus on the challenge of bringing empty shops back to use;
…the 2016 GBHighSt Awards finalist town centre vitality project in Banbury (with Neil, started April 14, renewed for 15-16, 16-17 & 17-18); plus a 17-18 and 18-19 support roles to the team developing/launching Banbury BID;
…and an Independent Shops Project with local partners in Abingdon (launched August ’17, to September ’18).
For two years, Iain and Neil ran an acclaimed pop up shop project in Wallingford (started March ’15, renewed for 16-17), and for a year (started January 2017) led a #townteam project for local partners in Swindon town centre (currently on hold).
Iain is a member of the Institute of Place Management and a co-director of town centre specialists company, Flashop UK Ltd. He regularly hosts the national #indiehour forum on Twitter.
“I feel that @prbi_Iain is one of the good guys and we need as many of them as possible. People with experience, but also people willing to share.” From Twitter
A former BBC radio journalist, Iain draws on his background as a leading PR & Communications for business specialist and his expertise in public relations, business communications strategy, using social media, and skills training. He has good connections to key press, radio, business journal and online outlets, and a strong track record for winning media coverage for clients in the private and public sectors.
“Thank you Iain Nicholson – all this great press down to you!”