Our entire team works for our levy payers. We act as a consistent, collective and effective voice representing the interest of the city’s businesses to partners in the private and public sector. 

Our Team




Christine Armstrong
BID Director

Previously a manager at Harrogate BID, Christine has also held senior positions across the region including owning and managing the MET club, a high-level networking organisation that operated throughout Yorkshire, Nottingham, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne.

As BID Director Christine leads on projects, delivers services and invests in new initiatives to achieve our focus on transforming the city centre for all its users.
“We cannot deny that we are all in challenging times and that the next few months will command a great deal of resilience, compassion and sheer hard work as we bring our city centres back to vibrant, engaging environments to visit, live and work in.

“Whilst I cannot wave a magic wand, I can promise our levy payers and partners that they have my passion and commitment to support our City as we work together to tackle each and every challenge head-on.”

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors are leaders and influencers from across the city’s varied businesses. Working in a voluntary and advisory capacity they have made a commitment to represent the interests of all businesses in the area.

The main role of the Board is to safeguard the interests of levy payers by ensuring that Wakefield BID operates in line with the business plan and offers consistent value for money in line with its targets.

Graham Howarth – Chair

Graham is a technology entrepreneur from Wakefield. He has founded numerous successful businesses based in the city, passionately promotes independents and works closely with the third sector who he believes are the bedrock for a united Wakefield.

Graham is CEO of Sarcophagus, a construction software company that has founded both the-project.com and eTenderer.com. In 1999 he pioneered one of the UK's first project collaboration portals to accelerate and manage over £20bn of national and international construction projects.

Graham is passionate about delivering a strategic and collaborative approach that will see Wakefield build its reputation as a vibrant and thriving destination, and is keen to make Wakefield ‘smarter’ through the use of technology to tackle the disruption faced by our high streets head on.

He was an original founder and Vice Chair of Wakefield Bondholders (one of the UK’s fastest growing bondholder initiatives) and is a member of The Accord Multi Academy Trust.

Lee Appleton

Lee is Regional Centre Director for The Ridings Centre. He has spent a decade in shopping centre management and prior to that had over 17 years in management roles for Debenhams.

Lee boasts several industry awards to his name, including Winner of BCSC Opal Awards - Commercial Events / Markets / Exhibitions and the overall winner at the Revo Purple Apple Marketing Awards for The Ridings Centre.

Under Lee’s leadership The Ridings Centre has undergone a £5million transformation and seen the opening of Wakefield’s first city centre cinema in over two decades. The centre has also connected with community groups and charity organisations to revitalise the space - ensuring it remains at the heart of the city’s retail and leisure landscape.

Cormac Hamilton

Cormac leads Wakefield’s Trinity Walk – the newest addition to Wakefield’s retail and leisure offer which is playing a major part in the city's resurgence.

With a experience spanning more than 20 years, he is a dynamic estate and business manager with a background in property and facilities management. Cormac also has experience as the owner of a successful independent retail business as well as having been an Officer in the Royal Marines.

Cormac has a proven track record of managing large complex estates and multi-disciplined teams. His strengths are in commercial acumen, operational excellence, building teams, business relationships, planning and financial management. He thrives on the challenge, responsibility and diversity of estate management, and played a key role in driving forward the proposal to form Wakefield BID.

Samantha Harvey

Samantha started her own business One World Travel - an independent travel agency - on the Wakefield High Street in 2002. The original branch is still a popular business in the city centre and her dedication and business acumen has seen One World Travel grow to one of the region's leading independent agencies.

Samantha is a keen supporter of high street initiatives and sees local businesses as the foundations of our communities.

A school governor and district councillor, Samantha is extremely passionate about the influence of education on social mobility and believes everyone has the right to access help and support as necessary to achieve their personal ambitions.

Cllr Denise Jeffrey

Cllr Denise Jeffery is Leader of Wakefield Council. In this role she chairs the Council's Cabinet meetings and is accountable for proposing and directing the overall strategy, budget and policy arrangements of Wakefield Council.

Denise has overall responsibility to lead the Council, build a vision for the district and for representing Wakefield at regional and national events. She also provides community leadership to those organisations that work closely with the Council.

Denise was first elected to the chamber in 1988 before becoming Councillor for Castleford Central and Glasshoughton in 2004, she later became deputy leader and was elected the Council’s first female Leader in 2019.

Alan Robinson

Alan represents the independent sector. He has a café on Kirkgate, Al’s Tea and Coffee Shop, he has run his business for the last 5 years and he brought it to one of the most successful independent cafés in Wakefield. His previous experience includes 26 years working as a Sales Manager in one of the UK's leading companies. He has also worked in retail for 14 years. He brings to Wakefield BID the knowledge of running a small independent business and all its challenges.

Alan believes that the High Street is more than a place to go shopping, it is a place where people can meet and have a good retail experience.