THE boss of a group supporting businesses in Hereford says by next Christmas the city will be a position to shout about being a national shopping destination.

John Jones says his fledgling BID (Business Improvement District) organisation will help bang the drum about Hereford's retail offering in 2015 once the group is properly up-and-running.

But he says footfall in the city is "up substantially" as this year's Christmas shopping rush kicks in.

It comes as Mr Jones' BID counterpart in Worcester says it is not surprising that bosses at Hereford's multi-million pound Old Market development have tried to "tap our residents" ahead of the festive shopping period.

"The BID is still in the set-up phase," said Mr Jones, who is a partner at Philip Morris & Son in Hereford.

“We need to win a vote in January which will allow us to get proper funding.

“By next Christmas we hope to be in a position to really shout about Hereford being a national shopping destination.

“The Old Market is currently doing its bit by advertising in Worcester.

“And there is no doubt footfall is up substantially in the city. It sends a message that we are now quite a good retail destination."

The Old Market development has been advertised in Worcester for many months.

And Adrian Field, the leader of Worcester BID, says his team plan to do the same here.

“Everyone’s keen to have a slice of the cake and then some," he said.

“We expect other towns and cities to try and tap our residents - everyone’s competing for the same


“We feel we’ve got a great offer in Worcester, just like Hereford say they’ve got a great offer there.

"I believe we'll advertise what we have on public transport in Hereford and on billboards.

"Hereford is part of our campaign."

Both cities have announced shoppers will be able to park for free at certain times in the build-up to Christmas.

Herefordshire Council and the Old Market will both feature the offer in their car parks after 4pm each Wednesday up to and including December 17.