July's BID Insight from Chris Turner


The last month has been very busy in the BID community. We have had 10 successful ballots in Chester, Dunfermline, South Bank, Slough, Kingston, Northwich, Canterbury, Bermondsey, Gadbrooke, and Huddersfield. Both Slough and Huddersfield were new developing BIDs, and some of the turnouts and success levels have been very good indeed.

As part of the support for new BIDs at their development stage, British BIDs administers the BID Loan Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government (MHCLG). As part of this tranche we have been able to support new BIDs in Armley, Beverley, Christchurch, and Digbeth. This latest tranche was for £112,500, and it marks a key milestone in that more than £1 million has been awarded to developing BIDs for 33 places across England over the past few years. More information is available here.

The Ministry was also able to announce those local authorities moving to the next round of the Future High Streets Fund. These places will receive up to £150,000 of new funding to create detailed project proposals. The £675 million fund aims to reinvent town centres through large-scale capital investment. More information about the Future High Streets Fund and the high streets entering the next phase can be found online here. What was interesting about the 50 high streets listed was that 23 of them had either BIDs or a developing BID, a very clear mandate for the effectiveness of a BID and it’s relationship with the local authority.

An intriguing new piece of software to support those involved in BIDs and Placemaking, is available from the Ordnance Survey, working with the Office for National Statistics and MHCLG. It is an experimental dataset that can help to determine the extents of Britain’s high streets. Using their AddressBase Plus data, they were able to identify all addresses classified as ‘retail’, highlighting where people visit to shop, eat and drink. London Road in Southend-on-Sea, England, which measures approximately three kilometres in length, is a strong candidate for Britain's longest high street, and has of course a very active BID. Ordnance Survey have identified some 7,000 high streets using their criteria, and the information is currently accessible here.

MHCLG have also just announced the New High Street Task Force, which will support local leaders to revitalise high streets and town centres. The Task Force comprises a consortium of high street experts with a wide range of knowledge and insight, including in planning and design. The full details are available here. The consortium will be managed by multinational professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

On Monday 16th September 2019 at City Hall, London, we will be teaming up with the Greater London Authority (GLA) for a Management and Operations Forum. This Summer Forum, open to all members, will be an opportunity to hear about the work the GLA is undertaking to protect and grow cultural infrastructure and the role data mapping plays in this process. There will also be a discussion around the night time economy and the role of BIDs, including the implications of late-night levies. MHCLG will talk about the challenges and opportunities for High Streets and the part that BIDs play in this. Retail Analyst Andrew Busby, contributor to 'Forbes' and 'Retail Week' and the founder of Retail Reflections, will also debate the ‘Death of the High Street’. We hope that you can join us for this event which will be sure to stir debate and discussion and provide time to catch up and network with colleagues. Further information is available here and to book your place please contact Drew on 0845 112 0118, or email drew@britishbids.info

And, of course, this year’s National BIDs Conference on November 7th in Cambridge will look at the importance and meaning of places and town centres historically, how we prepare our town centres for the future, the innovations and technologies that will help, along with a look at town centres in their broader context. How can town centres achieve their full economic potential by encouraging broader jobs growth and the opportunities and challenges of local leadership? The event will encompass a variety of policy and industry debates and the findings of the 2019 National BID Survey. We will round up the day's events with an evening drinks reception. To book your place, please either contact Drew on 0845 112 0118, or email drew@britishbids.info. More information can be found here.

Finally, Accreditation is a key part of the British BIDs membership service, and Accreditation is the industry recognised standard, externally assessed by independent auditors, and designed in line with the National BID Criteria and the National Guiding Principles for a BID. It is pleasing that Weymouth BID joins the group of some 20 Accredited BIDs, and will join a group receiving their Certificates at the Conference. The Accreditation process can be completed online, and if you would like to receive more information regarding the accreditation process, please call us on 0845 112 0118, or email mel@britishbids.info

Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

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