New officer wants to bring touch of Japan to county

NEW FACE Heidi Isa, the new market towns' development officer and Cllr Robert Humby, deputy leader of Winchester City Council
NEW FACE Heidi Isa, the new market towns' development officer and Cllr Robert Humby, deputy leader of Winchester City Council
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THERE’S a fresh face in charge of business in Bishop’s Waltham, Wickham and Denmead.

Winchester City Council has appointed a market towns’ development officer to help keep these town and village centres thriving.

Heidi Isa took up the role last month and is looking forward to working with traders in each of the areas.

Heidi, 35, is from Winchester and studied Japanese at university.

She spent three years working for the government in Nagasaki organising events.

Heidi said: ‘There is quite a lot they do in Japan that could be used here. As a nation they are quite forward-thinking and that could be applied in my new role.’

When she returned from Japan, Heidi worked in London for a television company and then as head of business development at a printing company.

In each of the three places, Heidi will be in charge of events management, fundraising, marketing and raising customer service standards.

She said: ‘What’s quite nice is that because they are three very different places, I will be able to learn lessons in one and then use them in another.’

Heidi will meet city council bosses today to work out her action plan. In each district she has identified different key areas to work on.

She said: ‘Initially with Denmead, it will be about generating a business network and getting them talking to one another.

‘There’s also a new Sainsbury’s supermarket being built, I’ll be trying to make sure that this is a positive experience and getting local businesses to see it as more of an opportunity than a threat as it will ultimately bring more people in to the town.

‘With Wickham, it’s a lovely village with a lot to offer, but it’s about letting people know what the village has got, the same with Bishop’s Waltham.

‘It’s about getting the message out there and attracting people from further afield and encouraging those who drive by and wouldn’t normally wouldn’t stop to do so.’

Cllr Robert Humby, deputy leader of Winchester City Council, said: ‘I am looking forward to working with Heidi to sustain and enhance the vitality and the economy of market towns and villages.’

Heidi has a one-year contract with the council and will be working Monday to Thursday.

To contact her email hisa@winchester.gov.uk.