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The British Amusement Machine Trade Association (Bacta) has appointed a new agency to oversee its public affairs, digital and public relations support, the organisation announced today.

SEC Newgate will provide communication services from February 2022 and will succeed Interel Group and Steph Norbury’s Upgrade PR in the new year. The move follows a multi-agency competitive pitch process.

The SEC Newgate team is led by Chris White, co-head of advocacy at SEC Newgate UK and a former Conservative Party special advisor.

Bacta was praised for its leadership during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw Bacta launch its nationwide campaign to highlight the plight of the British seaside arcade.

The Save Our Seaside programme called on all businesses in the sector, from arcadians to their all-important supply chain, to persuade government figures and parliamentarians to deliver policies to ease the economic burdens that are pushing many businesses close to the edge.

Bacta CEO John White said: “The decision to appoint SECNewgate came after a very competitive pitch process. Prospective providers brought insight and passion to the proposals they put to us.

“In the end we felt SEC Newgate offered the blend of public affairs and communication skills we needed to pivot BACTA’s political engagement towards a very exciting future for the industry post the gambling review.

“At the same time, we would also like to pay tribute to Interel and Steph Norbury for their hard-work and dedication throughout the course of our relationship and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”