Archive for January, 2016

BID Insight: January 2016

Friday, January 29th, 2016
Ballot results
Since the last edition of Insight, there have been the successful first BID ballots for Birkenhead, New West End Company (Property BID) and Wales Ymlaen Llanelli; and a successful first renewal for Newquay.

Forthcoming ballots
We are now approaching peak ballot season, with 10 ballot results due to be announced in February alone. Exactly half of these are developing BIDs, indicating a healthy growth in the number of new BIDs coming forward. Our weekly Ballot Watch emails will continue to keep you up to date.

Investment in Town Centres – pooling property
We were very interested to read the recent report led by the British Property Federation on Town Centre Investment Management (TCIM), which promotes an ‘asset management’ approach to town centres with fragmented property ownership. The approach seeks to pool property, in particular retail space, into a single investment vehicle through a combination of voluntary engagement of landlords, purchase of property by the body itself and, in extreme cases, compulsory purchase of key sites. This would enable town centres to be curated to secure a better line-up of occupiers and improve the overall customer experience. The model of Town Centre Investment Zones (TCIZ) is promoted as a long-term and sustainable mechanism for addressing long-term retail decline by providing better focus for investment and more effective leadership. The report highlights the importance of getting the agenda of the local authority, BIDs and business Neighbourhood Plans aligned to ensure investors have assurance of a clear vision and direction for the area. The authors acknowledge the likely significant set-up costs for these vehicles and it remains to be seen how many independent property owners might be willing to cede control of their sites to a third party, regardless of the return on investment. However, amidst news stories of further decline in the High Street (-3.9% in December 2015 compared with -1.7% in December 2014) and commentators highlighting the ‘seismic shift’ to online shopping by consumers (source: Springboard National High Street Index for December 2015) it is encouraging to see this model being promoted as a potential long-term solution to this decline. The full technical report, funded by DCLG and matched by their pilot Councils, can be accessed here.

Research and Comment
Take a look at the 2016 edition of #BCSCBigTrend with comment and insight from the Bb Advisory Board’s Ed Cooke on property trends for the coming year business rates retention, devolution and LEP’s. Centre for Cities has launches its ninth Cities Outlook report. The 2016 report focuses on the 63 largest towns and cities in the UK and assesses how close we are to reaching the Chancellor’s summer budget commitment last year to build a ‘higher wage, low welfare’ economy in Britain. BIDs may be interested to see where their town or city sits on the wage-welfare matrix and to consider the report’s recommendations relating to house building and skills growth.

In the news
January has been a quiet month for BID press coverage. However, two stories have certainly brightened the winter gloom and give an interesting insight into the role of BIDs in art and culture in their local areas.Lumiere London was a four-night free festival of light in 30 locations across some of the capital’s most iconic sites ran from 14-17 January. Produced by Artichoke and supported by the Mayor of London, the festival also has crucial BID involvement from the Heart of London Business Alliance, a founding partner in the event. The event promoted cultural tourism in the capital and, from a BID perspective, demonstrates the importance of BIDs being involved in all aspects of events in their areas – from helping to develop the initial concepts to the detailed logistics of traffic management and pedestrian controls. In Leeds, the Leeds BID has commissioned major new artwork to welcome visitors to Leeds. A 20m muralwas commissioned by the BID as part of a series of art installations in the city and has been unveiled at Kirkgate Market. In other news, the Bath BID has appointed a new Chief Executive, Louise Prynne, following the departure of Andrew Cooper to head up the newly launched Leeds Business Improvement District. Local media has also covered proposals to develop a BID in Worksop, Kings Lynn, Shawlands andCheltenham, and proposals by Cheltenham Borough Council to drop a recently imposed late-night levy on licensed premises in the town if the BID is successful. And finally, it was interesting to note not a single mention of BIDs in this Telegraph article on privately funded policing when so many of you are funding additional patrols in your areas.  If you do fund additional policing in your area and are willing to share this information with us, please take part in oursurvey as we are researching a potential follow up piece on this matter. Don’t forget to tweet us your media coverage @BritishBIDs for us to share with the BID industry on your behalf.

Dates for your diary
We have a number of dates coming up for British BIDs members. Following this week’s Marketing Forum, we are pleased to announce that you can sign up for the next one which will be on 25 May. We also have a Management and Operations Forum on 2 March. Both are free to British BID members. The next Marketing Masterclass takes place on 11 March with the theme of planning and organising events. There is a 25% discount to British BIDs members.