Archive for April, 2016

BID Insight: April 2016

Friday, April 15th, 2016
Ballot results

This month will see ballot results for Belfast (Cathedral) BID, as well as Cheltenham and Poole at the end of the month.

Three further BIDs – Morecambe, Falkirk and Wimborne – have ballots starting in April, with announcements due in May.

Keep an eye out for British BIDs ballot watch for full details.

Inward investment

A new direction for BIDs

Continuing the theme of the evolution of BIDs beyond a traditional ‘green, clean and safe’ remit, we focus on Business Improvement Districts that are developing an Inward Investment focus for their activities.

The term Inward Investment is currently being used broadly to cover a wide range of activities – from informal property searches for prospective new businesses in an area, to big budget international promotions. There are also many examples of BIDs that are delivering services that could be classed as inward investment, but are not currently packaging this up as such to their members.

Following the example of some of the major US city BIDs, where inward investment and international promotion has long been a part of their offer to members, UK BIDs are increasingly starting to regard this as a priority. The arrival of property owner BIDs in London is seen as a particular driving force in this respect, but some of the most prominent examples can be seen outside the Capital.

The Liverpool BID Company has become increasingly focused on positioning the commercial core of the city as a site for new investment. A heightened focus by the City Council on the wider city region as opposed to the city centre, as well as the establishment of the Commercial District BID in 2011 with its greater preponderance of professional service firms than the existing retail and leisure focused City Central BID, was a driving force in the development of this activity, which formed a key part of the Commercial District BID’s recent renewal proposals.

The BID is a Member of Liverpool in London, the city’s inward investment office in the capital, and has promoted opportunities to its members to use the space as a base from which to network and secure their own investment.

Additionally the BID has been involved in events such as the International Festival for Business, which was hosted in the city in 2014 and is being hosted there again this year. Events such as the International Waterfront Forum have focused on how to harness waterfronts as assets for driving economic growth.

Mike Doran, Head of Communications at the Liverpool BID company, is clear that this is ‘just the beginning of a journey’ for the BID. The BID is increasingly fielding more enquiries and referrals from businesses looking to locate in the city and will be focusing over the next 18 months on promotions for the city centre that will demonstrate real impact for the city and the BID’s members in turn.

Inward investment is far from being a big-BID big-budget issue. Ipswich Central’s visioning and inward investment plans have recently been featured in a fDi (Financial Times) publication called ‘Europe’s Leading Lights’, which highlights destinations with the greatest potential for investment that are attracting the attention of multi-nationals.

Ipswich Central was a driving force behind the Vision for Ipswich document profiled in the fDi publication. The BID was instrumental in galvanising partners in the town to focus on inward investment matters and get behind a programme for its future development.

The New West End Company is another example of a BID that has a well developed and growing programme of Inward Investment activity. The BID’s ground-breaking work on streamlining the visa application process for visitors from China was featured in the 2015 British BIDs ‘proud projects’ awards. However, its activity in this area has also included projects such as its ‘Bond Street By Appointment’ scheme, a travel concierge service for high net worth individuals providing curated shopping itineraries. The scheme was launched at the International Luxury Travel Market conference in Shanghai, following which the scheme later partnered with British Airways to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the airline flying the London-Shanghai route.

The BID has recently commissioned the Global Retail Destination Index 2016 with Savills, which ranks the West End against the main shopping destinations in other major cities to determine its attractiveness from a visitor and retailer perspective. Inward investment in this respect has equal relevance for occupiers, consumers and potential investors.

Jace Tyrrell, Interim Chief Executive at the New West End Company, echoes the views of the Liverpool BID Company that Inward Investment is ‘a new development for BIDs and one that will increasingly become a priority’. The BID is close to securing £10m investment for Bond Street that is anticipated to lift turnover by 15% and property values by 10%, representing a major win for both the property- and occupier- BID members.

This focus on BIDs as drivers of inward investment seems set to continue and is an issue that will be followed closely in coming editions.

Research, policy and comment

Following our feature in the February edition of Insight, it is heartening to hear that so many BIDs are stepping up their efforts to support and communicate with their members regarding current terror threat levels and measures they can take to keep themselves safe. Hammersmith and South Bank BID have both offered advice and support to their members in the wake of the Brussels attacks.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced a new deal between Network Rail and the Homes & Communities Agency to utilise the redevelopment of land near railway stations to deliver 1,000s of new residential properties and jobs. Three local authorities – York, Taunton and Swindon – have come forward with proposals. The relationship between public transport and the health of the surrounding economy will be featured in future editions of Insight.

The recent news that BHS has gone into administration has sent shockwaves through the high street, with the punitive effect of business rates on ‘bricks and mortar’ retail again cited as a factor in its demise.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced that businesses employing apprentices will no longer have to pay Employers’ National Insurance contributions for apprentices under 25. This will apply both to existing and future appointments.

Heads-up: Nationwide BID Survey 2016. We will shortly be contacting all British BIDs with a request for data for the Nationwide BID Survey 2016. This key piece of research and thought-leadership has become an established fixture in the British BIDs calendar and is key to our work in raising the profile of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying policy makers. Please keep an eye out for this email and have your stats ready. Here is a link to last years as a reminder of the information collated.

BIDs In the news

As focus on the Northern Powerhouse cities continues, the Department for Communities and Local Government has launched a new film, Gunning for Growth, about the area being ripe for investment.

In local news, there have been features on the new City Centre Manager and BID Manager for Chester as well as a final push for the Cheltenham ballot later this week.
The renewal of the Brighton BID has also been profiled, as well as a trailer for the forthcoming Morecambe BID ballot.

Sheffield BID’s spring clean has been featured by the BBC. Follow the link to listen to what they had to say, starting at 02:35:56

Some of you may have seen the One Show feature on 7 April on the Skipton BID, where one brave Board Director faced critics from within the local business community on prime time TV and gave a passionate defence of the BID and the importance of its collective effort. We felt the BID came out of the experience well, but it was frustrating that the feature contained some inaccuracies about the BID process – with some implication that BIDs are a Council initiative, and no reference to the democratic process required to set them up. View the BID’s blog on the subject and a full transcript of the presentation to businesses.

Dates for your diary

The next Marketing Forum (free to Bb members) is scheduled for 25 May. The next Management and Operations Forum (free to Bb members) is scheduled for 6 July.

A 25% discount for Bb members is offered for all the following events: Setting up and monitoring a BID (session aimed at local authority officers and members) – 16 June; Business communications masterclass (B2B, LinkedIn) – 22 June; Developing and Renewing a BID – 29 June

Bb members 3 for 2 offer on training courses

British BIDs is offering 1 course free when you book 2. It can be 3 different people from the same BID or the same person from the BID to attend all 3. Please confirm your two bookings with British BIDs and you will be given the 3rd of your choice.