THIS MONTHS Bb ROUND-UP FROM DR JULIE GRAIL
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 Bromwich; Cheapside, 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.
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 Consortium, British Council of Shopping Centres, Federation 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.