February's BID Insight from Chris Turner


We are now entering a busy time for all of us. Ballots are starting with a vengeance and we congratulate This is Clapham for their success last week. Upcoming ballots include Reading and Reading Abbey Quarter, Visit Inverness Loch Ness, Salisbury, Royston, Gloucester Roadand Brackmills. We wish them well.

The British BIDs Professional Development Day will take place in Watford on Thursday, April 11 and the theme of the day is 'Developing places through partnerships: Learning more about place management.' We will study Watford as an excellent exemplar of how a Local Authority, a BID and a major real estate investment trust can come together to make things happen and we have speakers from the Business Improvement District, the local authority, Tesco, Intu, along with a session on effective methods in measuring the health of your town centre. Full information is here. Do please email Drew drew.turner@britishbids.info to sign up. 

The BID Loan Fund is an initiative funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and British BIDs are hosting two free workshops on 14th March, to help support anybody who is considering applying for fund. If you would like to attend please contact Drew on 0845 112 0118 or email drew@britishbids.info to book your place.
 
The Treasury Committee has launched a further inquiry into Business Rates to scrutinise how Government policy has impacted business. The Committee will examine how Business Rates policy has changed, including Business Rates retention, alternatives to property-based taxes, such as the proposed digital services tax, and how changes to Business Rates could impact businesses. The inquiry will look at how changes in Central Government policy have changed the business rates system. In turn, this inquiry will also look at how the current business rates system is operating and the associated impact on business.  Full information is at The impact of Business Rates on business
Treasury Committee, and the the deadline for written submissions is 2 April 2019. We are working with a number of BIDs to see how best we can submit a single response; do please email me if you are interested in getting involved.
 
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has published its report looking at the future role of the high street. In the report they believe that high streets and town centres can survive, and thrive, by 2030 if they adapt. Their vision is for activity-based community gathering places where retail is a smaller part of a wider range of uses and activities and where green space, leisure, arts and culture and health and social care services combine with housing to create a space based on social and community interactions. The full report is here.
 
As you will know already, The Future High Street Fund are inviting applications from local authorities to provide co-funding towards capital projects that bring transformative change. The Ministry are encouraging councils to work closely with stakeholders and specifically mention Business Improvement Districts. Further information on the fund is here and there are events across the country organised by the Cities and Local Growth Unit to field questions about the application process. We are working with some BIDs on the process and are happy to work with others. Again, an email to me if you are interested.
 
For BIDs in London, applications are now open for The Sustainable City Awards which help recognise best practice in environmental management in the UK. To enter, click here. There are several categories and if you think business or projects in your BID could be eligible for an award, find out what categories you might be awarded do please look. British BIDs are involved in the judging and a number of BID projects have made the shortlist in the past.
 
Last month saw the publication and launch of BIDs & Business Crime: A Manifesto, which was commissioned on behalf of retail industry business leaders. This sets out clearly the minimum that retailers are looking for BIDs to provide through the levy. This complements the new National Standards for BCRPs, which have been adopted by the National Business Crime Centre and administered by Secure By Design. There is an event in Nottingham on February 28, find out more here
 
And finally we welcome the first CiBM class of 2019. The next cohort commences in June, if you would like to register, email Drew on Drew.turner@britishbids.info. It is one of our key services, and we have a team of specialist, all working in the industry and running BIDs, who can answer your queries.

Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

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