May's Insight from Professor Chris Turner


As we move from Spring into early Summer, BIDs are becoming increasingly active. Despite the world appearing to be changing dramatically with high street closures, local elections, administration changes, and Brexit to contend with, there have been a number of great BID ballot results including successes in Milngavie and St Ives. Northwich, Southport and South Bank all go to ballot next month and of course we will bring their results to you. 

We have been tracking the stories on Debenhams and Arcadia on our twitter feed @BritishBIDs and will continue to keep members up to date on emerging high street stories and the potential implications to our industry.

This is a major time for Government policy development and hopefully even some outcomes. The Government has responded to the House of Commons Select Committee High streets and town centres in 2030 review; and although nothing dramatic is in the response, it is good to see that there has been one. It has already been superbly summarised by one BID colleague: “Admittedly I haven't finished reading this document yet but being as it includes the sentence, “the Government does not agree that the burden of business rates falls unfairly', I don't think I should bother!” The document is here.

The response does go on to say that the Government is continuing to progress work on high streets and town centres; they are establishing the High Streets Task Force. They stress that it will be much more than a ‘talking shop’ It will provide on-the-ground support to local places, an online repository of best practice, guidance and data that is available to all. It will also provide training for place leaders and play a coordination role in ensuring that relevant groups involved in high street improvements engage with each other better at both a local and national level. We clearly await the announcement of the group with interest.

Two projects that many are involved with, and which can still be joined are the Great British High Street Awards. After last year’s BID successes with Altrincham, many others will want to join, and the awards will be open soon. And of course, the Independents Day is taking place on July 4th. As many will know, Independents’ Day UK is a campaign that promotes independent retail businesses. Independents account for 65% of the 290,000 retail outlets in the UK and are thus at the heart of both local communities and many BIDs throughout the country.

The Treasury Select Committee is reviewing business rates and is now receiving oral submissions, following the written submissions earlier this year. Our response is available on our website here and it focussed on the horrors of valuation appeals, the unfairness in relation to domestic council taxes that have not been reviewed since 1991 and are thus unfeasibly low, the impact on online businesses, and a possible sales tax replacement for business rates. I am on the panel giving evidence on June 4th and am clearly happy to receive further input from members if you want to email me. 

The major retailers’ responses thus far have been pretty blunt, and MPs have been inundated with submissions from high-profile retailers and business groups suggesting alternatives to the tax. Tesco, which pays about £700m a year in business rates, making it one of the biggest payers of the property-based tax, suggested the Government impose a 2% online sales tax to help pay for a cut in business rates for shops. Sebastian James, the Chief Executive of Boots, added his voice to the calls for reform, warning that the “increasingly fragile ecosystem” of high streets and town centres was being rocked by unprecedented and far reaching change and “the rates regime is accelerating the visible decline of high streets in many parts of the UK, with a knock-on impact of increased job losses, lower national insurance revenues and a reduction in apprenticeships and skills investment. Shops are closing and the resulting impact on local communities goes beyond reduced access to products and services.”

On a very different matter, I have just sent out personal emails to BID Managers for the National BID Survey, which is now in its 13th year. As you probably know the majority of data for the survey comes from the British BIDs database, which we keep up-to-date by way of our weekly Ballot Watch service, and our collection of all the business plans of all the BIDs. All of the data on the BIDs that we have in our system is available online through our BID index. At the moment we have the ballot details and business plans of 317 BIDs who are operational, and a further 30 who are at the development stage. The follow-up qualitative survey, which we ask BIDs to complete over the next two months, will allow us to explore issues such as business crime reduction, levy collection rates, the impact of business rates on BID levy income and the impacts of neighbourhood plans and local economic partnerships. This year we are also interested in BID involvement in the Future High Street Fund. If you haven’t had my email can you let me know please.

This week sees the publication of the UK’s first comprehensive research into the role of private-sector business crime reduction schemes in helping drive down low-level crime and anti-social behaviour. “Business Crime Reduction Schemes: An examination of operation, management and best practice” gathers objective information to show how local schemes 'self-manage' low-level crime and anti-social behaviour to help fill the growing 'policing gap'. The report is available here and identifies seven key indicators for success.

Clearly one major advantage of the British BIDs relationship with the national levy payers is that we now have a database of over 470 national head office voters, with their names and contact details. It is of course these national levy payers that also help us develop our National BID Criteria to ensure that BID managers know how to structure their business plans and their service delivery in a fashion that ensures that the national levy payers will vote for them. Do please get in touch with mel.richardson@britishbids.info if you want to discuss your particular head office voters. 

Our Certificate in BID Management students are now completing their final written extended projects and we look forward to their presentations next month. As ever they are tackling some wide-ranging topics including: BID roles in freight management, crime reduction, CRM systems, and policing. The next cohort – the 10th – starts on June 25th and is almost full. If you want to join the 79 students who have completed the course to date  please email drew.turner@britishbids.info for more details.

Finally, the Bb team and I have been working with BIDs across the country delivering bespoke training with BID boards and teams on board development, new BID development and stakeholder engagement. We are always keen to work with members on such issues and do please email Drew or me if you want some involvement from us. We often find that an external voice is helpful.

Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

Latest Articles

Look back on lockdown - BIDs

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

June's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BBC News Channel - Professor Christopher Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

New research on BIDs and the 'new normal'

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Important announcement: MHCLG BID Loan Fund

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Ed Cooke joins British BIDs Advisory Board

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

3R Toolkit; Driving recovery in your place

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BIDs Advisory Board welcome Resilience Fund

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs Announces BIDs Resilience Fund

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Government lobbying for BID levy relief during COVID-19

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs expands Ballot Buddy portfolio

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Sidcup BID achieve British BIDs Accreditation

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Government Survey - your help needed by 22nd April

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

April's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

COVID-19 - Job Retention Scheme Update

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

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

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

That Was The Bb Week That Was #2 (W/C 30th March)

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs' Ballot Buddy helps secure a 'yes' vote for West Bromwich BID

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

The Coronavirus Act 2020 and what it means for BIDs

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

That Was The Bb Week That Was #1 (w/c 23rd March)

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID levy payments and COVID-19

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

New Q&A sessions announced

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Communications support for BIDs

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs Guidance - Q&A

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Business Improvement Districts and their Coronavirus Response

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

March's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Join our live Q&A session this Friday

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

COVID-19: An update for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs' response to the Chancellor's Budget

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs launches new Advisory Board

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Sunak urged to reform rates that ‘hammer’ local retailers

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

February's Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs partners with Welsh Government

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Business Rates - a representation to the Chancellor for the 2020 Budget

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

New year, new Christmas

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

January's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Celebrate our 10th birthday with us

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs support Plymouth City Centre BID at renewal campaign launch

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

December's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

November's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Digital Lego Trail successful boost to the City Centre

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Can your BID assist school/college leavers in their area to obtain employment locally?

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

October's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

September's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

August's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

July's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

June's Insight from Professor Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs appointed to support West Bromwich BID for renewal ballot

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs appointed to support Sheffield BID with 2020 renewal ballot

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

April's Insight from Professor Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Debenhams Administration - Guidance for BIDs

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

March's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID Loan Fund Workshops with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee - New Policy Issues

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Celebrating 25 Years in Christmas Lighting - Gala Lights

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

February's BID Insight from Chris Turner

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

InLinkUK - New to our Suppliers Portal

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - JANUARY

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - DECEMBER

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Thank you to our British BIDs members

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - NOVEMBER

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Autumn Budget 2018: Highlights for the BID industry

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - OCTOBER

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government BID Loan Fund

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

British BIDs appointed to support South Bank BID with 2019 renewal ballot

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Faster broadband underpins UK BIDs - Openreach

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

National BIDs Conference by Ben Collins

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - SEPTEMBER

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Is slow broadband hindering your business and do you want to do something about it?

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - AUGUST

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Do Your BID’s Lights Need A Refresh?

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - JULY

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Applications for the 2018 Great British High Streets Awards are now open!

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Launch of the Second Grimsey review

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Launch of the Great British High Street Awards 2018

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - JUNE

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - MAY

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT INDUSTRY CELEBRATES 300 BIDS

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

Check out our photos from the Professional Development Day

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - APRIL

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

What you can discover on the new Bb website

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - MARCH

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019

ENTER THE NATIONAL BID AWARDS

POSTED ON: 16/05/2019