The Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQBID) Ambassador Matthew Crawley-Alexander joined the team last month. With fellow Ambassador Wendy Roach, he is the friendly face that greets visitors, workers and residents. We sat down for a quick chat to find out how he’s finding the new role and the Jewellery Quarter in general.
New Ambassador: Matthew Alexander-Crawley
1. Did you live and work in Birmingham before this job?
No, I lived in Northampton for six years prior to this where I worked for the Northampton BID for several years, but I have visited Birmingham many times. I’m originally from Leeds.
2. How has this role differed compared to working at Northampton BID?
The role is the same but the area has a different feel to it. At Northampton BID the focus was very much on a single high-street with traditional retail businesses whereas here we’re covering a much larger area including both retail businesses as well as offices and residential spaces.
3. How are you finding Birmingham and the Jewellery Quarter? Did you know the area well before you started working at the JQBID?
Loving every moment of discovering the Quarter! It’s exciting to find an area rich in character, history and friendly people. No two streets are the same and you won’t find a place like it anywhere else in the UK. It’s nice to work somewhere that isn’t just another high street with the same brand of chain shops. I didn’t know the area until I stumbled across it on the canal path and I have been coming back ever since to explore more.
4. What has been your favourite moment on the job so far?
Meeting the amazing people that work and live here and make this area such a special place. Soon after I started, we were delivering the JQ Life Magazine to local businesses and cafes which was a great chance to meet lots of local business owners.
5. What has been the most surprising aspect about the role?
How to Pronounce Vittoria Street. I call it Victoria Street!
6. Any favourite discoveries in the Jewellery Quarter?
Oh that’s a tough one! The Pig and Tail is really beautiful on the inside and a lovely place to have a pint. The Red Lion did one of my favourite ever English breakfasts! Wendy recommended Locanta for a family meal and we had a really nice evening. For coffee’s and lunch, you can’t beat Urban, plus it’s very handy being so close to the office.
7. What do you like to do in your downtime?
Watching cooking shows to make up for the fact that I can’t cook – but one can always hope! Otherwise going to the pub with friends or watching football is a great way to unwind.