February's Insight from Chris Turner


This has been a phenomenally busy month for BIDs across the country, with work on ballots, levy collection, government support, future planning for town centres, and permitted development rights.

Some 38 BIDs are planning for their ballots before the end of March. We know that a few BIDs have already made the decision not to go to ballot: possibly reviewing options after a break. There have been successful outcomes in Wimborne, Langthwaite Business Association, Watford, Hainault, and Lancaster. Sadly, we have seen Basingstoke and Neath unsuccessful in their ballots. Interestingly, some of the results in these ballots have been better than the results five years earlier, suggesting continuing strong support for the BID model.

One of the biggest current issues is around levy collection and enforcement, with much discussion between BIDs and their local authorities. After a long period when some levy payers were either unwilling or unable to pay their levy bills it has become clear that most are now coming forward with payments; there are some BIDs who are achieving collection rates of over 80%. It is very clear that in every BID many levy payers have been passionately supportive and very committed and have been paying from the very beginning. BIDs have continued to support their levy payers with their services of Rangers, safety and security, and advice on grant giving. This is now coming to fruition and bills are being paid.

During the month government support was evident. Luke Hall, our new Minister for the High Street at Ministry of Housing Community and Local Government, in a written response to Parliament said that Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have been a key tool in providing business led improvements to local areas since 2004. They remain an important part of our high street and town centre agenda, and the government is committed to supporting them. BIDs also have an important role to play in ensuring our high streets and town centre areas can open in a safe way in order to reinvigorate our local economies and get people back to work and the shops. The full link is here. And Paul Scully, Minister at BEIS, talking about government support for BIDs said "We have heard many positive examples of BIDs who have undertaken successful renewal ballots. We also know that many are also seeing the BID levy continuing to be paid by members". As part of work with government relationship we have worked with a number of different BIDs on a letter for Chancellor Sunak, focussing on the need to continue the business rates holiday and other support measures for the retail sector and those BIDs in town and city centre retail centres. 

A vital strand of BIDs’ work is forward planning for the emerging world post lockdown. The vaccine roll-out is now allowing BIDs across the country to plan more for our town and city centre futures. There is a growing legion of examples and we mention a few here: Cardiff BID has produced a manifesto that lays out eight priority areas to ensure that city centres recover sustainably from the pandemic, and overcome the challenges facing city centres that were present before the pandemic began; Colmore BID has launched a Call for Evidence as part of The Future Business District, a unique study to inform their response to long term recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and offer policy directions on best practice for central business districts across the UK; and the Savills report Re:imagining Retail reimagines how we use our towns and shopping centres to live, work, play and thrive. Sustainable repurposing is about making sure that these places are future proof, green, offer solid investment opportunities and provide what communities need. At the same time, The Centre for Cities, who we often recommend for terrific data and research work, foresee a sharp bounce back, and expect the UK economy, and many of its cities, to bounce back quickly. They believe that previous recessions have been led by exporting industries: for example manufacturing in the 1980s and finance and manufacturing in 2008-2010. That’s not the case this time round. The huge falls in output have been led by customer facing local services, particularly in hospitality and entertainment. This changes how quickly the economy should be able to bounce back. For local services, the strong bounce back of exporters means that there is likely to be a demand to spend (indeed, the bounce back of retail to pre-lockdown levels by July backs this up). They believe that when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, local services should see a bounce back too, both in terms out output and employment. Of course, the question is whether the businesses serving this demand will be the ones that currently exist or ones that set up in the aftermath. Find out more here.

Permitted development rights continue to be a major concern for BIDs. We all have a strong view that successful town centres operate with a mix of retail, leisure, office and financial services. They are the social and economic hearts of our local communities, and therefore we need to understand and manage how we balance the varying requirements of our local and business communities, ensuring we maintain the quality and the value of our local centres. Our Industrial BIDs feel strongly that this will have a devastating and lasting impact on business districts and undermine their established use as a location for business and jobs. As part of the consultation many BIDs have made their own responses: Watford BID gave a very cogent response here; Manor Royal responded as part of the growing Industrial BIDs network, and Bb co-signed a shared letter from a range of national bodies that appeared in the Times and also went to the Minister. We look forward to the responses.

On a more practical note, our next cohort of the Diploma in BID Leadership starts on 13th April 2021; its underlying philosophy is that Leadership is different from management. Leadership is about doing the right things right. It’s about setting directions, building visions, and making something new. It's about taking a group of people on a journey and mapping out what an organisation needs to do to succeed. At its best it is creative, inspiring, motivating and exciting. Do contact evan.gartland@britishbids.info if you are interested.

Insight Online continues to pick up the themes identified here, and the next one is on February 23rd, 14:30 - 15:30. This month we will be joined by Stephen Toal (Savills Director of Property Management Research) to update us on retail trends, and Emily Cotterill (FOR Cardiff) on recommendations for supporting a sustainable post-Covid recovery for city centres. Register your place here (please check junk email for registration confirmation).


Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

Latest Articles

June's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

BIDlife

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Our rapidly evolving workspaces

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs appointed to support Swindon renewal ballot

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

May's Insight from Chris Turner - 2021

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Indoor service please

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

ACT NOW FOR A STAND-OUT LIGHTING DISPLAY THIS WINTER

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Evidence to The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee on Permitted Development Rights

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Amazon clicks and thirsty punters… now for business rates

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Welcome people back to your high street with Plantscape’s floral displays

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

High streets a part of life?

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

BIDlife - Send us your reopening photos

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

April's Insight from Chris Turner - 2021

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil BID and Northfield BID achieve Accreditation

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Maybe* - 7 ways to reconnect with your BID levy payers and their customers

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

March’s ballot results – a congratulations from British BIDs

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Ballot Buddy helps achieve a new term for Sheffield BID

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs meets with UK's largest national chains

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

March's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Retail repositioning continues

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Colour and animation for magical lights this Christmas - GALA LIGHTS

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

The recovery Budget delivered, where now for our towns and cities?

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

£1bn Towns Fund for 45 areas in England announced

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

February ballot results – a congratulations from the British BIDs team

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Letter on proposed new Permitted Development Rights

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Watford BID overcoming the challenges to secure a ‘YES’ vote

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

BID ballots during lockdown

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Business Interruption Policy Checker, Christmas Support Payments and Lockdown Guidance and elections

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

The headlines are gloomy, but our future evolved local high street looks exciting

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

As we lose a retail icon, we must embrace the change

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

January's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Digital trends in 2021

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs and Industrial BIDs discuss crime prevention

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Government names 72 high streets in England to share £831m recovery fund

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

A look back on 2020 BID ballots

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

December's insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

#BIDlife - putting the spotlight on our towns and cities!

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

How can and should BIDs be more community focused?

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Christmas lights provide feel-good factor in challenging times

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Welsh guidance about the coronavirus rules that will be in place from 6pm Friday 4 December

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Repurposing our places for the future

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Arcadia Group – Guidance for BIDs, 1 December 2020

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Calling on the Government to do more to support Retail, Hospitality and Leisure

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Increase your footfall over the festive period - Blachere Illumination

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

The shop local and loyal revolution from Scottish fintech Miconex with Town and City Gift Cards and Mi Rewards

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

November's insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

LoyalFree: The high street app helping businesses trade through the lockdown

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

BID community prepares for second lockdown

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to Covid Restrictions

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - 1st November 2020

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs congratulates confirmed areas to receive new Town Deals Fund

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Paul Clement steps down from British BIDs after long-standing service

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

October's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs congratulates Melanie Beck on being awarded MBE for ‘Services to the Community’ during Covid-19

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

BIDs in the news

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs and Industrial BIDs share best practice

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

September's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs requests extension of 'Eat out To Help Out' Scheme

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

​Bb requests further BID term extension from MHCLG

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Bb to launch new research entitled 'Shaping the Future'

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Your Pontypridd Receives Accreditation

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

August's insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Levy reduction letter from BIDs - download the template

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Local lockdowns and areas of interventions: how to prepare

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs' response on levy payments

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs supports Business Resilience Survey

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Get involved in our response to Government

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Preparing for localised lockdown webinar follow up

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Look back on lockdown - BIDs (part 2)

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

July's insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Webinar with high street expert Bill Grimsey

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Ruth Duston joins British BIDs Advisory Board

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Towns Fund – updated guidance

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Look back on lockdown - BIDs

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

June's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

From BBC news, to virtual meetings & training, we reflect on the past 3 months

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

BBC News Channel - Professor Christopher Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Industrial and Business Park BIDs share good practice with virtual networking sessions

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

New research on BIDs and the 'new normal'

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Important announcement: MHCLG BID Loan Fund

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Ed Cooke joins British BIDs Advisory Board

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

THAT WAS THE BB WEEK THAT WAS #9 (W/C 18TH MAY)

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

THAT WAS THE BB WEEK THAT WAS #8 (W/C 11TH MAY)

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

3R Toolkit; Driving recovery in your place

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

THAT WAS THE BB WEEK THAT WAS #7 (W/C 4TH MAY)

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

BIDs Advisory Board welcome Resilience Fund

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

THAT WAS THE BB WEEK THAT WAS #6 (W/C 27TH APRIL)

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs announces new research into the recovery of BIDs and urban centres in the ‘new normal’

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs Announces BIDs Resilience Fund

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Government lobbying for BID levy relief during COVID-19

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

THAT WAS THE BB WEEK THAT WAS #5 (W/C 20TH APRIL)

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

New measures to protect UK high street from aggressive rent collection and closure

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

British BIDs expands Ballot Buddy portfolio

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Sidcup BID achieve British BIDs Accreditation

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

Government Survey - your help needed by 22nd April

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

That Was The Bb Week That Was #4 (W/C 13th april)

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

April's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

COVID-19 - Job Retention Scheme Update

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021

That Was The Bb Week That Was #3 (W/C 6th April)

POSTED ON: 18/02/2021