September's BID Insight from Chris Turner


The BID ballot front has been slow over the last four weeks, but we are expecting both the Bridgend and Wellingborough results in the next week or so. Ballots are generally slow over the summer as BIDs work carefully with their local authorities to make sure that turnout is high in the early autumn, after the summer holiday period.

Despite the slow movement on ballots over the summer there has been much activity on the matters of the High Street, and general government activity. The Prime Minister announced an extension of the Future High Streets fund to include a further 50 town centres, full details are available here. This is of course a sign of the growing recognition of how important High Street are, particularly in some of the smaller business communities up and down the country. It is pleasing how many of these Future High Streets projects have BID involvement. At the same time the government announced an injection of £95 million under their heritage action fund into 69 historic high streets across the country. The full list of high streets involved is available here. And again it is pleasing that there is some BID involvement here. To view the successful 69 locations via Historic England’s Google Map

There is an increasing interest across the BID community in crime and how BIDs can become involved in tackling the business crime agenda. New research released by London BIDs Against Crime (LBAC) assesses the contribution of London’s Improvement Districts to crime-reduction across the capital, and identifies the challenges they face in addressing levy payers’ safety and security concerns. The research report makes interesting reading, is very supportive and complimentary of the impact that BIDs make and the report is available here.  

As part of that crime agenda the National Business Crime Centre has revamped it website and is making more information available to bits and the big community if colleagues would like to logon and join up. Again, the full site is available here, and is a resource for police and businesses to learn, share and support each other to prevent and combat crime. The site is packed with useful information, advice and case studies which will help us in BDs fight crime affecting businesses, staff and their interests. 

One irritant is that the government has announced that The Fair Funding Review and 75% business rate retention will be delayed until 2020-21. Following the recent Spending Round, local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: 'I recognise that these reforms are very important, however the priority in the short-term is clearly to provide the certainty that councils need to be able to set budgets for next year.' Many of us had hoped that the fair funding review would allow government to start to address some of the problems inherent in the current business rate system. Clearly, that is not yet to be the case, although the government is committed to bringing the review and the new system into place for 2021. 

The Centre for Cities, one of the major think tanks on cities and how they develop, has produced an interesting new report on the future of the High Street, suggesting that the government should help towns and cities improve skill levels among local workforces in order to attract businesses by generating well paid jobs. Without the spending power these jobs provide, attempts to make high streets more attractive to consumers will fail, the report said. Centre for Cities looked at 62 of the UK’s biggest cities and towns and found a strong link between high-skilled jobs and thriving high streets. It suggests cities with stronger economies had more theatres, museums and restaurants while cities with weak economies often had only the basics. The website is here and Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of the Centre is speaking at the National BIDs Conference in Cambridge on November 7th. 

One key service that British BIDs offers that members may be interested in using more fully is our list of National Levy Payers and the voter contacts at their headquarters. We now have the details of 510 national organisations, and if members are interested in getting further information do please contact mel.richardson@britishbids.info.  

It is also a great pleasure to announce that Bristol Broadmead BID has been accredited, becoming one of the twenty BIDs to receive Accreditation across the country. There are a further five in the process and those who succeed will receive their Certificate at the Conference on November 7th. Our National Criteria, developed with the national levy payers, suggests that they are more confident supporting BIDs that have been through an Accreditation process. Again, please contact mel.richardson@britishbids.info for more information. 

Finally, our Summer Management and Operations Forum took place at City Hall, London on Monday. Delegates heard from MHCLG on the government’s vision for the High Street and BIDs, along with presentations form the GLA’s Placemaking Officer, the Mayor of London’s Night Czar, insights into what the future of retail looks like and how the South Bank BID’s Board played a crucial role in driving the vision for their successful renewal. You can view a few photos from the event here

Remember you can view our latest BID Job Vacancies on our website. There are current opportunities at for Southport BID, Basingstoke Together, Victoria BID and Your Eastbourne BID view here


 

Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

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