July's Insight by Chris Turner


We are now entering high summer and this week we have all had some of the highest temperatures in living memory! This is clearly affecting BIDs up and down the British Isles as we help both levy payers, customers and clients by way of advice on over-heating and provision of water.

The BID ballot picture has been very positive this month, with twelve successful ballots in Inverurie, Norwich, West Chester, North Notts, Stirling, Gloucester, Truro, High Wycombe, Uxbridge, Leicester, Halesowen and a new first term BID in Cressex Business Park.

The month has been a frantic time for government, with some important ministerial changes. The BID industry has a new Secretary of State; the Rt Hon Greg Clark was appointed Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 7 July 2022. He was previously Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from July 2016 to July 2019. He was elected Conservative MP for Royal Tunbridge Wells in 2005. Many in the industry knew him as the Minister for Cities and we hope he will bring some essential constancy to the Levelling Up agenda over the next few months, as inflation bites harder and the outcomes of the business rates revaluations starts to become clearer.

The geeks amongst us are excited about the first wave of the new 2021 census data, and for many BIDs working on new or further term business plans the new data sets will be vital, find out more here. The plans are for the release of Census 2021 data and analysis, including first results, topic summaries, multivariate data and specialist data. From October to the end of the year 2022, the ONS will publish a series of data and supporting commentary groups by a similar theme, known as topic summaries. Proposed topic summaries in publication order are demography and migration, ethnic group, national identity, language, and religion, housing, labour market and travel to work and education. These will be key reads for developing new business plans.

There is a growing consensus that the UK is sliding towards a recession. The headline figures make grim reading. The economy is on track to shrink in the second quarter, raising the possibility that the UK is already in a recession. Even when the outlook appeared brighter, officials estimated that growth would settle at a below-par 1.8% a year, with no end in sight to the feeble productivity that has blighted the country for over a decade – read more here. Last week the governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, warned that Britons are likely to suffer a deeper and longer downturn than other major industrialised nations. He also said inflation would be more severe and persistent. Unique to the British experience is Brexit, which has imposed extra costs and restrictions on exporters to the EU and limited the supply of skilled labour. And after 10 years of austerity, publicly funded organisations entered the pandemic in a weak position and are now in an even worse state as they grapple with the rocketing cost of living and a shortage of workers. Interest rates could rise above 2% in the coming year as the Bank of England acts to prevent high inflation becoming embedded in the economy, one of its policy setters has said. Michael Saunders, who leaves Threadneedle Street’s monetary policy committee (MPC) next month, said in a Valedictory speech to the Resolution Foundation that he supported tighter policy because the risks of doing “too little, too late” outweighed the risks of doing “too much, too soon”. BIDs clearly need to monitor and help our levy payers during these times.

It’s often useful to remind ourselves what is happening around the world and in Singapore the planners, working on a 50-year horizon and beyond, are not taking it as a given that hybrid home-office arrangements are here to stay. The uncertainty of its long-term impact on office space demand underscores the need for Singapore's plans to be flexible, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) chief planner Hwang Yu-Ning. Speaking on Singapore’s ongoing long-term plan review, Ms Hwang said: "(Work from home) will impact office space in the future and where to locate the office space…so we are working on different possible scenarios, because we don't know the extent to which this will sustain over time," she said, adding that the uncertainty underscores the importance of providing options for different possible futures. For instance, should a concentrated Central Business District be the way forward in the future. Read the full article here.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office and Counter Terrorism Policing are running two ACT Corporate events, at both Glasgow University on Tuesday 6th September and Sandown Racecourse on Monday 12th September. On Monday September 12th 2022, Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) will be hosting an ‘ACT Corporate’ event at Sandown Racecourse in their prestigious Gold Cup Suite and would like to invite you to attend. This will be one of the first major presentations post pandemic to be held in the area and will be a huge benefit to Small and Medium Enterprises, Business Owners and Senior Management in Business and Industry. The day will provide information and guidance on countering terrorism and will combine a wealth of experience from various sectors ensuring those in attendance leave with newly acquired skills and knowledge to enable them to be better prepared. The event is free to attend and will be hosted by senior leadership within local and national policing organisations as well as subject matter experts who will be on hand to provide information and guidance on Counter Terrorism from Threat Assessments, Business Continuity and Crime Reduction to Legislation reforms. For more information and to book your place follow the EventBrite Link below. They have limited spaces available so be sure to reserve your space and book your ticket now via this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/act-corporate-tickets-365877939767

The 2022 National BIDs Conference will be taking place on Thursday 3rd November at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The event will be held in one of the stadium's spectacular event spaces, which overlooks the one-of-a-kind pitch. We are looking forward to another year of connecting, learning and networking with the industry. Full event information will be released in due course, however spaces are filling quickly so please do book your place here.

The British BIDs Academy continues to be the platform for the training and development of BID staff in the UK. We host a range of training courses on a wide variety of subjects, covering all aspects of a BID’s life-span and suitable for all levels of expertise. Our content is consistently reviewed and improved, meaning there will always be something new to learn on a course and all of our courses are brought to you by expert professionals in their field. Our courses and the Certificate in BID Management and Diploma in BID Leadership programmes are all accessible on our website. In 2022 we are still holding training sessions both virtually - on Zoom - and in-person. The full details are as ever on our website.


Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

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