HALESOWEN'S BID team have been thanked by the Queen's representative in the West Midlands for their "inspiring" work during the coronavirus crisis.

The hardworking team, made up of BID manager Vicky Rogers and ambassador Ellie Hunt, were out and in the town centre throughout lockdown helping essential businesses which stayed open.

They have been tireless in their efforts to back the town's traders throughout the pandemic and were delighted to get a letter form Lord Lieutenant John Crabtree OBE, who represents the Queen in the West Midlands.

He thanked them for their contribution during the crisis and hailed their work as 'inspiring'.

Based at 1, Hagley St, the team have become an important part of the town centre, with the pair becoming popular faces.

Vicky and Ellie have helped scores of businesses forced to close access Government cash dished out by Dudley Council as grants to help them survive and have helped Halesowen bounce back from lockdown with the greatest footfall recovery of any shopping destination in the UK after non-essential shops reopened on June 15.

They have held webinars to keep businesses informed, helped firms with marketing and HR and helped organise an event in the town centre to mark Black Country Day.

They helped firms reopen introduce covid-19 safety measures and were consulted by Dudley Council on barriers which are in the town to help enforce a one-way system, keeping shoppers safe.

Vicky said: "It was overwhelming to get the letter.

"We do what we do day in, day out, but to be recognised and for someone to take the time out, especially someone of that status, to say thank you - is lovely.

"We're proud to be part of something that is making a difference to Halesowen."

Halesowen News:

The letter states: "As the representative of Her Majesty the Queen in the West Midlands I would like to thank you for the contribution you have made to the country during these extraordinary and difficult times.

"No matter how large or small, the innovation, collaboration, humanity and selfless service shown by so many across the region during the Covid-19 pandemic has been truly inspiring."

Halesowen MP James Morris joined Lord Lieutenant John Crabtree OBE in praising the team.

He said: "Halesowen BID have worked very hard over the last few months to help businesses re-open and ensure that they are Covid-secure for both their staff and their customers.

"This recognition is well deserved, and a great reflection of the support they provide."

Business Improvement Districts are created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to local businesses.

Each business across the BID area has to pay a 1.25 per cent levy towards BID work which aims to attract interest and investment to the town.

Pictured at top of article: Vicky (left) and Ellie pictured with Cornbow Centre manager Eve O'Connor (centre) who is on the BID board.