National BIDs Conference 7th November 2019

This year’s National BIDs Conference take place on Thursday 7th November at Downing College, Cambridge.

Availability is limited so please book your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

This year’s Conference will look at the importance and meanings of places and town centres historically, how we prepare our town centres for the future, the innovations and technologies which 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.

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Our four guest speakers are;

Bill Grimsey

In July 2018 Bill published The Grimsey Review 2 ‘It’s time to reshape our Town Centres’ and as a result is currently in discussion with both Central and Local Governments on a way forward. Bill has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration by the University of South West England for his contribution to retailing.  Bill said “I am delighted to be a part of this year’s National BID Conference. The agenda looks fantastic and I have heard wonderful things about the venue too. My presentation will be focusing on how to prepare our town centres for the future and what we need to do to make them community hubs. I look forward to hearing the other presenters and debating with them and the delegates.”

Rt Hon. Ben Gummer

The Rt Hon. Ben Gummer is a Visiting Fellow of Practice at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University and a Senior Adviser at McKinsey & Company.  Previously Minister for the Cabinet Office and youngest member of the cabinet, Ben was responsible for the design, implementation and co-ordination of all UK domestic policy, as well as the administration, people, systems and property of government.  Prior to the Cabinet Office, Ben was minister for health, with responsibility for the 1.3 million people who worked in the NHS and all NHS hospitals.  Between 2010 and 2017 Ben was Member of Parliament for Ipswich, where he initiated and led a major urban regeneration programme that attracted over £1.5 billion of private and public investment.

Nicky Wightman, Savills 

Nicky will talk about the factors which influence successful place making strategies and the creation of vibrant communities and spaces.

Nicky’s role has a global reach and she provides businesses with market leading intelligence focused on cutting edge thinking, locations, culture and technology. She spends time working with leading innovators and looks at the future of living and working, retail and leisure.

She has collaborated with the Savills World Research Team to launch the Savills Tech Cities programme which provides market leading intelligence on the key global tech locations. 

Nicky sits on the Savills Technology and Innovation board and is interested in disruptive technologies influencing real estate and other sectors.

Andrew Carter, Centre For Cities   

Andrew has over 20 years of experience working on urban economic policy issues for public and private development agencies, consultants and research institutes.  He has also spent time in the US as part of the Churchill Foundation’s Fellowship Programme reviewing urban economic development policy and practice in American cities including New York, Washington DC, Boston and Chicago.

Andrew became Chief Executive of the Centre in 2017.Before that he was the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Research with overall responsibility for the Centre’s research and policy programme.

He is a regular media contributor and chairs and speaks at conferences across the UK and Europe on a wide range of urban and economic issues. 

At the conference, Andrew will be exploring how town centres can achieve their full economic potential. From broader jobs growth to increase opportunities and local leadership. 

Registration on the day will commence from 9am for a 10am start. The drinks reception will commence at 5pm and finish at 7pm.

British BIDs members receive a 25% discount. To book your place, please enter your unique membership number in the 'promotional code' box to validate and receive your membership discount. To ensure a smooth and efficient booking process, a debit card or credit card transaction is recommended. If you are unsure of your membership number, then please contact the British BIDs team on 0845 112 0118. To purchase a ticket via a direct invoice, please contact Drew on 0845 112 0118 or email

Take a look back at photos from last year here 

View the video from our 2018 National BIDs Conference below: 

Join the conversation #BIDSCONF19

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