A GROUP established to ‘make a difference’ in Bournemouth town centre has appointed a chair.

The new Bournemouth Town Centre Action Partnership Group will be chaired by Sir Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West.

The multi-agency initiative aims to deliver action for the town centre, and will be made up of key partners, community groups and organisations.

Sir Conor Burns said he “relishes the opportunity” to chair the new group.

He added: “I thought carefully before accepting as the challenges are daunting but the opportunities immense.

“Everywhere I go, I hear how people want to see a sense of purpose and welcome restored to our town centre.

“They want it to feel safer and be cleaner. They want it policed and maintained.

“I could not pass up this opportunity to try and make a difference.

Following the town centre survey and Bournemouth town centre summit last year, the new Bournemouth Town Centre Action Partnership Group will be taking forward and overseeing progress in responding to feedback from residents and businesses.

Councillor Vikki Slade, leader of BCP Council, said: “It is fantastic that Sir Conor has offered to chair this new collaborative group, which will bring together town centre voices who all share the collective ambition to deliver improvements in Bournemouth.

“The council has a part to play, but we can’t do it all. We are just one piece in a larger jigsaw puzzle, and if we all come together in a meaningful way, we can deliver positive action.

“Bournemouth is a brilliant town and I feel confident about its future, especially through the leadership of this new partnership.”

Sir Conor added: “Local people don’t care which party we are or which organisation we work in – they just want us to work together to make positive change..

“This Action Partnership group must not just make a difference but be seen to make a difference.

"The Town Centre Summit was as positive start. Now we must deliver positive solutions.

"I commit to working with anyone of goodwill, as we strive to put Bournemouth town centre on the pathway to a better future for all of us – residents and businesses alike.”