Read the 2017 National BID Survey here
This 11th National Business Improvement District [BID] Survey, conducted in 2017, was undertaken primarily on behalf of the BID industry; that is the 309 separate organisations that are either running BIDs or planning to run them. At the same time, we are conscious that key industry players such as Revo, Boots UK, Nationwide Building Society, the British Retail Consortium [BRC], British Property Federation [BPF] and The Association of Convenience Stores [ACS] who support this year’s survey, make use of the data, as do the Department for Communities and Local Government [DCLG] and many Local Authorities.
In addition, British BIDs [Bb] tries to work closely alongside the Association of Town and City Management [ATCM] and the Institute of Place Management [IPM] to ensure the widest possible reach across the whole BID industry. This survey covers all BIDs across the UK and Ireland irrespective of membership of IPM, British BIDs [Bb], Scotland or ATCM.
It was undertaken at an interesting time in UK politics, following the referendum to leave the European Union and the current resulting negotiations, along with a new administration the previous year, a further rather inconclusive election this year and newly elected Mayors in some key cities, including London, Bristol, Liverpool and Cambridge.
The impact of Brexit and declining exchange rates, the growth of internet business, and the dramatic shifts in some business rates has left many high street retailers feeling beleaguered. The Centre for Cities 2017 report1 suggests that cities accounted for the bulk of British exports at 62% of total exports and that the EU is the largest export market for almost every city, indeed, 46% of all cities’ exports are sent there. There will thus be some impact as the negotiations move forward.
Yet the growth of high quality visitor experiences, the increasing integration of service industries into the retail mix, and a deeper understanding of people’s need to visit our towns and cities for far more than just shopping is allowing some town centres and their high streets to change and thrive. BIDs continue to be a key part of this response, and some of the projects and schemes identi ed in the survey evidence some of these responses.
At the same time, BID colleagues are revisiting thinkers and developers like Jan Gehl and Jane Jacobs to see what strategies have been developed in the past to deal with change. There is a growing sense amongst some that current neo-liberal beliefs are being critiqued, anti- managerialism is an evident trend amongst the young, and change may be in the air. BIDs need to be aware of these trends, allowing businesses in towns and cities to continue to be at the centre of the social and political changes we are witnessing. Thus, projects on the role of the living wage, the use of apprentices, working with the disadvantaged, and working with the young all occur within the survey responses.
Similarly, the role of culture and the arts recurred in many responses. This included festivals and street art projects. Aberdeen Inspired won the major European BID project award working in partnership with the renowned Nuart Festival in Stavanger; the Tunnel of Light project in Norwich and the Man Engine in Penzance are all exciting events. This resonates with a national report commissioned by Arts Council England, the Mayor of London and King’s College London that will be published later this year and will highlight how BIDs and the Culture sector improve places by working together.
Finally, sustainability and air quality are starting to emerge as issues with Clean Air Zones in Nottingham, Southampton, Leeds, Derby and Birmingham, and projects such as The Airlabs CleanAir bench: a street furniture clean air solution located on Bird Street, just o Oxford Street in London. This is an installation that is part of the world’s first smart street in New West End BID.
Thank you all who responded to the National BID Survey 2017. We very much appreciate your assistance in gathering this data.
Please view our other previous surveys below.