The first in a regular feature featuring members of our BID board; we meet Stefanie Hardy – General Manager Park Plaza County Hall London
How long have you worked in South Bank?
I am relatively new to South Bank, having worked here for just six months. My previous roles were in Mayfair and prior to that, Islington, so very different areas.
What are the key things for you about the area?
What’s really made an impression on me is just how much development is happening now in South Bank. It is almost impossible to imagine the changes that Impressive projects including the Shell building, Leake Street, Waterloo Roundabout and of course, Waterloo station will have on the area. From dwell time and the type of people who are attracted to the area, we could see quite a difference in the future and it will be fascinating to see it unfold. The BID Business Briefings are going to be a very useful forum for understanding the different needs of the residents and workers.
Park Plaza is part of the regeneration of course. Previously nobody would have expected such a upscale hotel brand as Park Plaza to open in Waterloo but our hotels are a great success. Most of our clients are tourists and families but we also have quite a lot of business clients – with Westminster just a short walk across the bridge, it’s a great location.
I think the development of the area can only be a good thing, especially in terms of employment – there will be lots of new accommodation and more jobs, meaning more people. This will offer a great opportunity for us to attract more clientele to our excellent hotel restaurants and bars.
Of course, there will be a difference in what residents and workers want from the area and it was interesting to have an insight into this recently at the BID Business Briefing.
What do you like about being involved in the BID?
I really like being on the Board of the South Bank BID – as it gives me an opportunity to make a difference, working with local businesses and individuals to help shape the best possible future for the South Bank area.
If you could wave the BID magic wand, what would you wish for?
When I worked in Islington, there was a support team organised by the BID that could offer guidance on ad hoc questions we had. This team included seven local police and it would be great if we could arrange something similar for South Bank.