Businesses from across Tamworth town centre and the Ventura retail parks came together for the first time to discover how plans for a Business Improvement District could help make Tamworth a more attractive place to visit, shop and explore.
The launch event, held at Vinyl & Kuda, gave businesses the chance to hear what a BID is and to see some examples of how BIDs are successfully transforming towns in other parts of the country.
A variety of businesses attended including independent and national retailers, café and restaurateurs, bankers, accountants, night club managers and other service businesses.
As well as finding out how a BID could improve Tamworth as a destination, those in attendance were able to meet members of the BID Tamworth Steering Group – representatives of a cross section of businesses who are volunteering their time to pursue the plans.
Rob Holder, chairman of the BID Tamworth Steering Group and manager of John Lewis Tamworth, and vice chairman Samantha Panton of Roasters – which has businesses in both the town centre and Ventura Park – told guests how important they believe a BID is for Tamworth and how they hope businesses will get on board with the project.
Rob said: “A Business Improvement District presents a great opportunity for businesses to shape the future of Tamworth. We think that all the town’s different sectors, long standing business communities and newly launched companies will see the benefit of a BID, because this project is simply ‘by business for business’.”
Ian Ferguson of pfbb UK (Partnerships for Better Business Ltd) gave a deeper insight into how and why a BID could benefit Tamworth, using Derby’s Cathedral Quarter as an example. Since the BID launched and created the ‘Cathedral Quarter’ identity, businesses have benefited from more visitors, more retail spend and new companies moving to the area.
Partnerships for Better Business Ltd develops and manages successful BIDs across the UK and has been commissioned to support Tamworth on its BID journey.
The floor was then opened to questions, with several businesses engaging in the discussions, revealing there is an appetite for a BID in Tamworth.
If successful, the plans would see businesses within a defined geographical area working together to identify and implement projects they feel would benefit the local economy and community. The partnership could generate hundreds of thousands of pounds to be spent on making the town a more vibrant and welcoming place to work, shop, stay and play.
Although the BID boundary will be determined through more detailed consultation with businesses, the aim is for Tamworth town centre, its retail parks and the attractive ‘riverside’ leisure offering in between, to unite under one umbrella for the mutual benefit of all.
Although a BID is entirely business-led and would provide services and improvements over and above those that councils are required to provide, Tamworth Borough Council is supportive of the initiative and has helped fund the development of the proposals.
The council’s Cabinet member for Regeneration, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “A successful BID can drive improvements to a town centre, giving businesses a collective voice in how their money is spent. It would encourage visitors and make our town an attractive place to live, work and do business.”
Rob added: “The BID Tamworth Steering Group is very pleased that the council is so supportive of this project, which gives a promising future for businesses in Tamworth. In January, we will start meeting with as many businesses as possible to explore their issues and concerns in depth. This will start to provide the information necessary to develop the BID Business Plan so that issues can be addressed and businesses can be supported in taking advantage of the opportunities Tamworth BID would have to offer. Members of the general public will also be asked for their views on the future of Tamworth.”
To find out more, please visit www.tamworthbid.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01332 419051.
Notes for Editors:
- BIDs are part of the government’s long-term strategy to encourage partnership working between a Local Authority and the business community.
- BIDs are an investment in the local trading environment through the provision of added value services
- BIDs are funded by local businesses through a levy on their rates bill, therefore all beneficiaries pay
- They see improvements to business profitability and turnover which would not have happened without a BID
- Businesses will identify the area and the issues and put together a proposal which should include delivery guarantees, performance indicators and management structure
- The plan voted for has a lifespan of 5 years and further proposals have to be reaffirmed through a further vote
- There are now over 230 BIDs across the country, which have an average of 70% of the businesses voting in favour
- There are two criteria which have to be achieved for the vote to be successful: more than 50% of the number of businesses who vote have to say yes and more than 50% of the rateable value of the businesses who vote have to say yes
- pfbb UK are BID specialists based in Derby, appointed by the BID Tamworth Steering Group to support them in the development of the BID Proposal and Business Plan.
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