Archive for March, 2015

Bb Insight – March 2015

Friday, March 27th, 2015


1. Government Announcement on BIDs

Nobody can fail to notice that we are in the last week pre-purdah! The BID world had a bumper announcement this week with our eagerly awaited BID Consultation that covers the key elements we had proposed to the Government. Consultation closes on the 19th June and we will be inviting members to feed into the debate to contribute to our formal response. Within the same announcement the Government published our Technical Guide for Local Authorities that was exclusively drafted by British BIDs based on our direct experience and member feedback. This is a ‘must read’ for anyone involved in BIDs from a local authority or a BID perspective.

2. Latest Ballot Results – we are 206

March is always a busy month for ballot announcements and this month is no exception.  Sheffield became the third successful BID Loan Fund recipient to achieve a successful ballot result this month alongside Exeter,Penzance and Ulverston both winning new BID ballots; alongside both Kirkcaldy and Plymouth successfully renewing this month. Next up to the ballot box are West BromwichCheapside, which would become the first BID in the ‘City of London’; and Heart of London’s Property Owner BID.

3. In the News

Amongst the multitude of news stories across the BID world, a few have caught my eye this month.  BIDs continue to prove their value on big ticket marketing and event activity such as Nottingham’s 48 Hours of Fashion;Birmingham Colmore and Newcastle NE1 are both embarking on major master planning schemes in Snowhill and BIGG Market respectively; Liverpool are starting the development of a Business Neighbourhood Forum;  Norwichis bringing back its successful ‘Head Out Not Home’ campaign to encourage custom after work during the summer months; Newcastle NE1 also this month have reported on their Space 2 project which focuses on getting young people off the ‘Not in Employment, Education or Training’ list; the BIDs across Birmingham have breathed a sigh of relief as their City Council postponed the plan to introduce levy collection charges for the first time this year; and finally Kimpton continue to do a great job in flying the flag for the BID concept to Government securing George Osborne as their latest visitor.

4. Changing Faces

Simon Binns is moving to pastures new creating the vacancy of the Heart of Manchester’s BID Manager, meanwhile successful first term ballots have paved the way for new BID Manager posts at Penzance and Hereford.  Closer to home, we bid a sad farewell to Carmel Munnelly, our Membership and Events Manager who is leaving to take up a term time role in a school that fits with the demands of her young family.  If you are looking for a new role or you would like to advertise one do click on to our Job Bank.  

5. Trending Topics: Policy Debates

Inevitably, given the pre-election climate we are in, there are many policy discussions and debates going on around our industry and its periphery but of particular importance to keep an eye on are – the Business Rates Reviewpublished last week and mooting of the possibility of a move away from a property-based tax, without a viable replacement it seems unlikely to me but clearly it is critically important to BIDs that we keep in touch on this;Neighbourhood Planning seems to be gathering pace having made progress through resident-based forums in rural parishes first, the question for BIDs is what will this look like in urban areas where a business voice is necessary; and finally in London the BIDs have specifically written to Government requesting a blanket exemption from the office to residential Permitted Development Rights.

6. Getting Together

March started with a very well attended Bb Management and Operations Forum kindly hosted by our members at Birmingham Colmore.  With an audience of BIDs from up and down the country we heard about Public Realm Investment in Colmore; the importance of and pitfalls regarding BID contracts from Georgina Dawkins at Urban Grain; and the opportunities and challenges associated with the Localism Right to Challenge (which has this month confirmed the role of BIDs through statue) from one of our 2014 Bb Academy graduates, Kingstonfirst’sRebecca Handley.  A further 8 delegates joined our March Five Stages of BID Development Training from both developing and renewing locations and the next date is 27th May in Nottingham.  Via conference call we had a really engaging Leadership Network discussion focused on a variety of policy concerns ahead of our next face to face meeting on 28th April.  Finally a ‘save the date’ for Friday 5th June, we are joining forces with Landor Conferences and The Means to run a seminar on Local Tourism & the Visitor Economy, more information to follow.

7. Out and About

It’s been a busy month for events, activities and engagement with some highlights including my attendance at theGovernment’s Neighbourhood Planning Summit hosted by Brandon Lewis where I took the opportunity to raise the question of how the business voice of BIDs fits into the model given their established mandate; a presentation at the British Retail Consortium’s Parliamentary Affairs Group discussing the Industry Criteria and Nationwide BID Survey from a levy payer perspective; attendance at the Sustainable City Awards where our new, British BIDs supported category of ‘Sustainable Places’ was awarded to Inmidtown; presenting at the NLA Think Tankon BIDs supported by British BIDs and GVA which will feed into a bigger event in June; joining the Newcastle NE1team alongside DCLG to host a delegation from Hamburg; and finally a number of the team attending the Future High Streets event in Nottingham.

8. In case you missed them…

With the plethora of publications, there is a danger we may miss some very good reads out there so here are a few in case you didn’t see them first time round. Centre for Cities published A Century of Cities, which looks at urban economic change since 1911; The Digital High Street 2020 Report on behalf of the Digital High Street Advisory Board, which was established last year by DCLG to provide business-led recommendations of strategies to revitalise our high streets in the context of a digital future; in the context of one of last month’s Bb Insight topics on how BIDs should be measuring impact, JLL’s latest London’s West End: Review and Outlook Report supported by both Heart of London and New West End Company is a rich insight on the activity across the Core West End.

And Finally…

It’s that time of year again when we embark on the mammoth task of data collection for the annual Nationwide BID Survey. The survey is a critical research exercise that captures an annual snapshot of the scale, shape, nature and extent of BIDs and their activities across the UK.  It is the only industry research capturing the entire industry irrespective of their affiliation through British BIDs membership and is delivered by the British BIDs team on behalf of the industry bodies representing levy payers – British Retail ConsortiumBritish Council of Shopping CentresFederation of Small Businesses and the Inter Bank Rating Forum.  The online survey will be open to all BIDs from 13th April to 15th May so please ensure your BID team are ready to take part. The output is only ever as good as the input so we rely on you to do your bit first so that we can do ours!

Until next time.




Ministerial Announcement

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Government Announcements on BIDs

We are delighted to confirm the following Government Announcements that we have been working closely on with DCLG over recent months.

Government Consultation on BIDs Following the extensive work undertaken last year with our membership that culminated in our Response to the Review of BIDs, the Government has now opened its formal consultation, which covers proposals for strengthening the role of Business Improvement Districts including: increasing transparency; suggestions for closer working between Business Improvement Districts and local authorities; changes to charging arrangements for the Business Improvement District levy collection; streamlining neighbourhood planning for Business Improvement Districts; and proposes some changes to current legislation to strengthen consultation requirements. For more information click here

Technical Guide for Local Authorities  From experience over the last decade, British BIDs has drafted the new Technical Guide for Local Authorities on BIDs for Government, which is jointly branded.  This is aimed at local authorities and BIDs to ensure a thorough understanding of the Regulations and therefore a smooth running of the development, ballot and management phases of BIDs.  This is a ‘must read’ for anyone involved in BIDs.  For more information click here

Guidance and Best Practice The Government has also published a basic guidance note on the principles of BIDs, which British BIDs has contributed to and which directly references the British BIDs Nationwide BID Survey data. For more information click here

BID Loan Fund – 15 Locations Now Approved The Government has confirmed approval for the four most recent applications to the Loan Fund – Leicester, Lichfield, Hexham and Poole. This takes our total loan fund approvals to 15 locations and completes the total spend of the initial fund.  However from the 15 locations, we have already seen 3 sites go through successful ballots – Bermondsey, Hereford and Sheffield – and therefore the fund is now utilising recycled monies from these successes.  For more information click here

A variety of member-focused discussions and dialogue will take place over the coming weeks to ensure robust response to the BID Consultation starting with the Leadership Network and Chairs Forum meetings on 28th April.

Press Cuttings – 20th March 2015

Friday, March 20th, 2015

It is great to see so many BIDs creating coverage of the industry in their local media. See below for our top selections.

Aberdeen BID
Swapping the beat for the BID

Birmingham BID
City council scraps BID charge

Bournemouth BID
Launches Spring ‘Gardens’ Campaign

Bristol Broadmead BID
Shopping Quarter serves up an Easter treat

Croydon BID
Power list 2015: The 40 most influential people in Croydon (30-21)

Darlington BID
Secures big savings for businesses

Heart of London BID
London’s West End gives £51bn boost to UK economy

Kimpton BID
George Osborne visits Kimpton Industrial Park Sutton

Liverpool BID
New plans could give people chance to influence Liverpool city centre’s future

Manor Royal BID
‘Know your neighbour’ event is major success

Plymouth BID
Businesses say ‘yes’ to to major investment

Newcastle BID
Bigg ideas for future of city are revealed

Nottingham BID
Bars join scheme to cut alcohol-related crime

Press Cuttings – 6th March 2015

Friday, March 6th, 2015

It is great to see so many BIDs creating coverage of the industry in their local media. See below for our top selections.

Aberdeen BID
Northern lights sparkle at platform nine

Angel BID
Campaigners celebrate as bank opens its Angel courtyard gardens up to public

Bath BID
Butt bin next step on the road to Britain’s cleanest city

Blackburn BID
Retailer steps up to mark with innovative insoles

Broadmead BID
Free roller-skating at The Galleries shopping centre

Camden BID
The new kids on the municipal block

Colmore BID
£600m Snow Hill master plan to transform Birmingham business district

Croydon BID
Time we found out who really runs our town

Darlington BID
Find out what’s been app-ening in Darlington

Hull BID
City centre secures second purple flag success

Kingston upon Thames BID
UK’s biggest weekend travel blogging conference arrives

Manor Royal BID
Businesses are invited to attend one of the business district’s premier networking events this year

Newcastle BID
Giving youngsters a space 2 earn the chance to get up for work

Norwich BID
Do you have what it takes to wow Norwich?

Nottingham BID
Time to see the latest trends

Plymouth BID
Businesses offered more say in future of city centre as new plan goes to vote

Property Marketing Awards 2015
The best annual showcase for industry talent

Sunderland BID
Developing markets in the city

Sutton BID
BID, police and retailers join forces for ‘stopwatch:’ The crime prevention scheme

Victoria BID
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson welcomes BID’s second term

Bb Insight – February 2015

Monday, March 2nd, 2015


1. Today marks the UK’s 200th BID 

At the outset of BIDs back in 2005, a number of us leading the concept were asked to forecast the future – the most optimistic was 50 in 5 years.  Clearly an underestimate, as we are on double that with 200 in 10 years.  I am personally delighted to announce that the 200th BID is Leeds, which I and the team at Central Management Solutions have developed to ballot. The BID4Leeds is a hugely ambitious city centre BID encompassing all sectors with just short of a 1,000 levy payers investing £2 million per annum. I believe this ‘big city’ format is absolutely right enabling the BID to be the major place shaper and voice for the city. This approach is akin to Newcastle, which boldly took this approach over 7 years ago and aligned with Liverpool’s relatively recent joining up of their two BIDs into one BID company.

2. New Arrivals: Hereford

We are continuing to see a steady flow of new BIDs across the country particularly in Scotland where there are now 27 with the latest addition of Paisley, whilst seeing another recent addition in London at Stratford making that regional total 55 BIDs. The growth of industrial BIDs seems to have been slowing over the last couple of years with only one new addition over the past few months, that being Marlow Globe Park back in October, making the total number of industrial BIDs currently 28. The latest addition this month is Hereford, which won at ballot on 12th February and as a consequence became the second successful BID Loan Fund recipient, following Bermondsey last Summer. 

3. Renewals in Victoria and Inmidtown

Renewals continue to come through positively with Bankside and Lincoln successfully entering third terms and Bury St Edmunds and Mansfield entering second terms at the back end of 2014. The success rate at renewal ballot remains high and is currently running at 92% demonstrating that once businesses have seen a BID in operation they generally want to see its continuation.  The latest successful renewals this month are both in London –Victoria entering second term and Inmidtown entering third term.  Again I was proud to support the excellent team at Inmidtown in my consultancy capacity at Central Management Solutions on what is a fabulous result they should be very proud of. 

4. Ones to Watch

A further flurry of locations are coming through ballot during March – Exeter, Sheffield (another BID Loan Fund recipient), Penzance and Ulverston are all at first ballot; whilst Kirkcaldy and Plymouth are hoping to be successful at 1st and 2nd renewals respectively. And off the starting blocks for the very first time early in the new financial year may be our first Property Owner BIDs as Heart of London takes its two BID areas through a property owner ballot in May/June 2015. 

5. In the News

Our fortnightly press cuttings service showcases a huge breadth of initiatives from around the country and this month is no exception.  BIDs are continuing to demonstrate their ability and willingness to be bold with projects and voice such as: Bath’s ‘Savings Shop’; Croydon’s survey regarding Gatwick’s second runway; High Wycombe’s ‘Enterprise HQ’ which provides incubator space similar to Camden’s Collective initiative; and on a different type of incubator space Kingston’s pilot ‘Safe and Sound’ project that trialled an alcohol recovery centre for night time revellers during the Christmas period to alleviate pressure on A&E.  Beyond these, there certainly seems to be a focus on night time trade with Newcastle launching their 6th annual restaurant week; Sunderland launching their evening bridal shopping initiative; and Nottingham running an extended trading hours survey. Meanwhile a focus on green credentials continues with Paddington’s green wall and rain garden being the latest to focus on flood mitigation initiatives, pioneered by Victoria BID.

6. On Social

You can certainly tell we are at the start of a fresh new year as much of the content on our social channels has been around new job opportunities – our Job Bank has advertised four new jobs in as many weeks at Stratford, Romford and Bournemouth and most recently an exciting new Business Development Manager post with us at British BIDs/Central Management Solutions. Meanwhile a debate around getting your governance in order has made interesting reading on LinkedIn. If there was just one thing you took away from our Annual Conference back in November, let that be the critical and increasing focus on accountability and transparency of your organisation (although of course I hope you took more than just one).

7. Trending Topics: Measuring what and how?

I spend much of my time responding to member questions; having discussions and debates on topical issues; presenting at events and conferences; and reporting concerns and opportunities back into Government.  But there are always topics that seem to be on trend and the current one for me is the question of ‘What BIDs should measure and how?’  We started a dialogue some months ago on this and did some investigations of our own with the help of both CACI and Experian and we are now ready to take this to the next stage. In the first instance we are inviting our Leadership Network members to join us for a debate on this topic, which we then plan to open up to a wider group. Click here to express your interest in joining this debate.

8. Getting Together

BID roles can be lonely and challenging and getting together with peers for support and exchange of ideas is something that we at British BIDs consider critical to the success of the industry. January’s Marketing Forum was a super example of this principle in action – chaired by our Marketing Director Fiona Wright and kindly hosted by Northbank, we heard presentations from their own Megan Dixon, Heart of London’s Karen Baines; and one of our 2014 Bb Academy graduates Maris Puks of Waterloo Quarter. Next up is our Management & Operations Forum being hosted by Birmingham Colmore on 4th March. If you haven’t yet signed up do so, here.   And for anyone heading to a ballot this year – new or renewal – our Five Stages of BID Development Training is a must. The next session is on 12th March. Book here.

And finally…

Close to my heart is the robustness, integrity and quality of our industry.  I spend a lot of my time on these issues and most recently have been putting detail and coalface experience into the continuing Government Review on BIDs.  We look forward to seeing a thorough consultation on this in late March/April and we are planning a variety of debates within our membership to lead on this starting with a Leadership Network and a Chairs’ Forum on 28th April. Contact us to join the debate.


Until next time.

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