Former Spar MD Jerry Marwood is to take on the mantle of High Street Champion for Wolverhampton, as part of the national High Street Champions pilot programme.

The scheme, from the charity Business in the Community, aims to increase corporate involvement in UK high streets at local level.

It focuses on the 27 Portas Pilot towns that were announced in May 2012 to bring business expertise and skills to support high streets across the country.

Marwood, who is currently managing director of Blakemore Trade Partners, hopes his experience will help boost the city centre’s potential.

 “I have spent all my professional life in retail and while I have a passion for independent stores, I also have a great deal of knowledge of larger corporate organisations through my time at Gateway, Somerfield and Spar UK,” he said.

Business in the Community chief executive Stephen Howard welcomed Marwood’s involvement.  “No one group holds the solutions and it is only through working together and thinking innovatively that we will see the change we require. We are delighted that AF Blakemore has seconded Jerry Marwood to help further this important initiative.”