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Belfast City

Derry YouTuber Adam Beales Confirmed As New Blue Peter Presenter

The world’s longest-running children’s TV show has today unveiled Derry-born Adam Beales as its newest Blue Peter presenter.

Adam is the 40th Blue Peter presenter and will co-host alongside Lindsey Russell, Richie Driss, Mwaka Mudenda and Henry the dog, in his first show this Thursday (September 3rd) on CBBC and BBC iPlayer at 5.30pm.

YouTuber Adam, 20, is already familiar with the CBBC audience as he is a regular face on The Dog Ate My Homework. He left school as Head Boy with 11 GSCE’s at A* and was considering Oxford or Cambridge before his YouTube channel took off, which now has nearly 3 million subscribers and often features his mum and dad and younger brother, 11-year-old Callum.  He’s best known  for posting pranks, challenges, DIY crafts and life hacks so should slot right in with the ‘here’s one I made earlier’ creations on the show as well as the formidable challenges the presenters have to undertake.

In his spare time he loves to spend time with his family while eating pizza and watching TV, as well as driving his beloved car. Despite his claim of leading a ‘boring life’ Adam loves pranking people (especially his younger brother), travelling, meeting new people around the world and living and experiencing their culture. He’s travelled from as far as the USA to Thailand.

Adam follows in the footsteps of fellow Northern Ireland presenters, the late Caron Keating and, more recently, presenter number 30, Zoe Salmon.

Adam says: “I’m super excited to become Blue Peter Presenter number 40. I am humbled and ecstatic to be part of such a legendary production. It’s kind of weird – in a super exciting way – that the show I once watched when I was younger, is now the show I will be presenting along with the talented Lindsey, Richie, Mwaksy and of course, Henry. I can’t wait to get stuck in, even with the challenges they throw at me, though I am hoping none of them involve cheese – I hate cheese!”

It might not involve cheese but Adam’s first challenge is a biggie. He has been thrown straight in with a mountain rescue challenge. He will be winched down a cliff face to complete a training exercise with the Buxton Mountain Rescue team and will share the results of his challenge live in the studio in the coming weeks.

Blue Peter Editor, Ellen Evans, said: “Adam really impressed us during his auditions, he’s a natural in front of the camera but he’s also very funny, incredibly warm, brilliant with kids and also perhaps a little bit mischievous which the Blue Peter audience will absolutely love.”

Head of BBC Children’s In House Productions, Helen Bullough, adds: “Throughout lockdown Blue Peter fans have been telling us how much they’ve enjoyed and appreciated the show’s unstinting commitment to engaging, inspiring and entertaining them and we can’t wait for Presenter Number 40 to join us and get stuck in!  Adam is playful, thoughtful and already popular with our audience, who I’m sure will give him the biggest ever Blue Peter welcome.”

Blue Peter is live on CBBC every Thursday at 5.30pm and is available on BBC iPlayer.

www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/blue-peter

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Belfast City

Cathedral Quarter BID Celebrates Success Of Street Beat Police Presence In Area

An initiative that saw additional dedicated police officers patrolling Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter has been welcomed as a proven success story by Destination CQ’s manager Damien Corr.

The Ballot for the continuation of the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) is currently open until September 22. In an independent survey carried out in advance of the ballot, the Street Beat (#streetbeat) programme was seen as one of the key projects that adds value for businesses and organisations in the area, over 90% of respondents prioritised it for inclusion in the Business Plan for the next 5 years.

The StreetBeat officers are paid for by the BID and are additional to the normal policing provided by PSNI. The initiative was a direct response to local business owners’ concerns regarding antisocial activity within the areas. 

BID manager Damien Corr said: “As the businesses are paying for the service, it was essential that they felt in ‘control’, accordingly the officers have a designated phone which our Cathedral Quarter businesses can call direct 07787432635. This ability to bypass the general PSNI Switchboard is key to a more effective localised response.”

The officers patrol the area on foot and in their distinctive CQ street beat branded vehicle, dealing with anti-social behaviour and criminal activity. They also visit premises offering practical security and personnel safety advice and equipment.

StreetBeat PSNI officer Michael Gillies added: “Being given the time and support both by the BID and PSNI management, I have been allowed to focus my work specifically within the Cathedral Quarter and its needs. 

“This has helped to strengthen relationships already made with businesses and also to forge new ones. It’s back to basics Neighbourhood policing, only this time the neighbourhood is my local business community”.

However, the future of the scheme in the Cathedral Quarter relies on a ‘yes’ vote for a new five-year term for the Business Improvement District organisation Destination CQ.

With ballot papers already issued and voting by post closing on September 22, Mr Corr is keen to remind voters of what could be lost without their votes.

“The BID levy payers have told us that they really appreciate the work done by our Street Beat officers who, between them, have provided 2080 extra policing hours targeted patrolling,” he said. 

“They were particularly effective over lockdown when lots of properties were left unattended. Our officers continued to patrol, checking on closed business premises and providing assurance and practical assistance to those who continued to work.

“It is a simple reality, that unless we get a yes vote in the ballot, aloof this additional targeted policing will be lost to Cathedral Quarter.”

Sorcha Woolsy, Operations Director of Beannchor with a number of businesses in the BID area said the BID has carried out a number of projects that have impacted the Beannchor suite of businesses.

“The one that really stands out to me is the provision of the City Centre Beat Officers,” she added.

“It’s a really good example of an initiative that a BID can provide that an individual business could not on their own. 

“For me, it is imperative to vote yes on the re-ballot of the BID. The collective energy and brainpower and money of a group of businesses all pulling in the same direction for the betterment of this area will inevitably gain better results than individual businesses doing little bits and pieces on their own.”

For more information on the work of Destination CQ and Street Beat go to cathedralquarterbelfast.com or contact Damien Corr on 02890 314 011.

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Belfast City

CQ BID Celebrates Five Years Of Being Voice For All In Cathedral Quarter

Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, Destination CQ, has for five years been the collective voice for every business in the area, lobbying and consulting with local and regional government and government agencies.

Destination CQ Manager, Damien Corr said the ability to go to these organisations and speak for everyone in the Cathedral Quarter, Smithfield and Union, is one that can’t go unnoticed.

“We are involved in most stakeholder groups in the city and that’s something that our levy payers don’t see a lot of,” he explained. 

“It takes up a lot of our time but it’s very worthwhile.

“The ability to lobby for individual businesses, or for the entire area, direct to departments is important, and we work away on issues until we are successful or reach an acceptable compromise.”

The pressures of the pandemic, shop closures and the complete halt to tourism have affected the economy as a whole but it also had a significant effect on the Cathedral Quarter. This inner-city neighbourhood, characterised by arts, culture, restaurants, entertainment and independent shops relies on tourists and visitors to survive.  

Over the past five years, Destination CQ has represented business interests at City Reopening Stakeholder Group, City Centre Anti-Social Behaviour Action Group and the Small Business Forum.

At present there is a ballot to continue the BID’s work for a further five years and voting Yes to the BID means local businesses can present a unified front and have a collective voice when engaging with the various stakeholders, either local government or assembly level.

When asked about the importance of banding together to present a collective voice, Sorcha Wolsey, Operations Director for the Beannchor Group and Destination CQ BID Board member said it was important that businesses come together.

“The collective energy, brainpower and money of a group of businesses all pulling in the same direction for the betterment of this area will inevitably gain better results than individual businesses doing little bits and pieces on their own,” she said.

The business improvement district has been actively championing the area, partnering with promotional activities such as the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme to help restaurants in the area recover from the effects of the pandemic. 

There have been numerous BID led initiatives that greatly benefited businesses in the neighbourhood. Culture Night and Restaurant Week are just some examples of the projects that make CQ a vibrant place to do business. 

Board member and Director of Quigg Golden, Gavin Hendrie said Cathedral Quarter needed a body to explain the issues and promote the area.

“We need a champion for the area,” he explained. “We need the BID to help advertise the CQ as a place to come, to maintain the sense of vibrancy that we’ve known in the past and perhaps lost in the last 18 months.”

Supporting local businesses remains one of the three pillars the Business Improvement District plans to focus on in term two. Collective advocacy is still a priority with creating a strong alliance among stakeholders and ensuring BID members’ voice is heard in key city-wide discussions.

Les Hume, Vice-Chair of CQ BID explained why it is crucial to be represented as a collective:

“By being part of a collective we can present a reasoned, well thought through debate, we can actually bring our concerns and our troubles to the people who make the key decisions,” he said. 

“I think that in the next five years we’re going to have even greater challenges as we try to build Belfast back better.

“To vote yes for this BID process means that your voice can be heard, along with mine hopefully. Together we’ll make Belfast better.

“Individually we will struggle. That’s what I think is good about a Business Improvement District, so please do consider voting yes.”

For more information on how the work of Destination CQ BID can benefit your business go to cathedralquarterbelfast.com or contact Damien Corr on 02890 314 011.

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