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Business Improvement District (BID)


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It will be useful to have information on this scheme here.

 

Hereford Times - Thursday 1st May 2014 in News
 
 
A PROPOSAL to set-up a Hereford Business Improvement District (BID) was launched in the city last night.
 
A group of like minded businesses in Hereford have decided it is time to make an investment in the future prosperity of the city. A loan has been taken out from the Department for Communities and Local Government to see if a BID can be set up in Hereford.
 
A BID is a legal entity set up and run by businesses in a specific geographic area and there are now more than 170 of them in towns, city centres and industrial parks across England. The Hereford group has come up with ideas for projects but is looking for feedback from other businesses.
 
“I recognised a void in Hereford city, with no form of traders association, city centre partnership, or any similar entity to look after the interest of businesses in the city centre," said John Jones, partner at Philip Morris and Son.
 
"I took the approach that if we were going to do this, we’d do it properly, from zero to best practice in one step. I didn’t want to create a body that had no mandate, no money and no ability to deliver, so set about creating the most effective body possible - a Business Improvement District.â€
 
When BID's are set up a steering group carries out extensive consultation with businesses in a specific geographic area to determine what projects would most help the local economy to thrive. They publish a business plan which sets out a range of projects and how much money will be needed from each business to deliver this plan.
 
Each eligible business in the area described in the plan gets a postal vote to say whether it is for or against setting up a BID.
 
If the vote is successful, all the businesses in the area will invest in the BID to deliver the selected projects by paying an annual levy.
 
The BID will last for five years and at the end of that time a new plan will be developed and businesses will have another chance to vote for or against the proposal. Dan Guerche, general manager at Play nightclub, said the creation of a BID would bring positive benefits to the city.
 
“The BID will invest time in creating a better town centre to live, work and shop," said Mr Guerche. "This will create employment and that means more customers for us all.â€
 
A survey is the first stage in working out what projects to include in the initial proposals. Over the coming months the group behind the BID will be getting out to meet every business and seek their views on the plans.
 
But any that would like to be visited straight away can email John Jones on HBID@philipmorrisdirect.co.uk or Georgia Smith, Hereford BID project manager on info@towncrafting.co.uk
 
The people behind the BID steering group include representatives from Herefordshire Council, Hereford City Council, Visit Herefordshire, Young Enterprise, as well as businesses and other organisations such as All Saints’ Café, Fit Clothing, Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Primark, Chave and Jackson, and Hereford Cathedral.

 

 

post-2-0-82848000-1399882763.jpg
The exact boundaries of the BID area in Hereford are being refined as a part of the consultation process. All streets in the shaded area of the map are being considered.
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Some background.

HEREFORD CITY COUNCIL COUNCIL MEETING 29TH October 2013 
 
 
1. Background 
1.1 A Business Improvement District (BID) is an agreement by local businesses within a defined area to raise a sum of money to be spent within a defined area. The money is raised by a charge in business rates to all businesses within the defined district, once a positive vote in a local ballot has been achieved. The money is collected by the billing authority, in this case Herefordshire Council, but the Council has no control over how it is spent. Nor does the City Council. 
 
1.2 The creation of a BID raises funds which can be spent on marketing, street scene improvements, better amenity services (including potentially public toilets, street cleaning, seagull or pigeon proofing, CCTV, security patrols,) or indeed anything which is deemed to help local businesses. The decisions about how the money is spent are taken by a management committee elected from among the BID members. 
 
1.3 A proposal has been put forward by a group of local retailers for a BID within the centre of Hereford, to ensure that the older centre is ready for the impact of the new development an shares in the added footfall and trading opportunities this will create. The BID will also enable much needed improvements to the traditional shopping and commercial core of the City to go ahead without having to compete for sharply reducing funding from Herefordshire Council, or becoming an unacceptably heavy load on the City Council’s resources. Given the financial constraints under which Herefordshire Coucnil are currently operating, and the constant pressure from the Government to hold parish precept increases to “reasonable†levels, (defined by the Department for Communities and Local Government as well below the current rate of inflation), a BID presents the only serious prospect of new money being available for investment in the historic commercial core of the City. 
 
1.4 Preliminary indications are that a BID might well succeed as a number of local businesses have indicated they would not only vote for it but lobby their colleagues and competitors to do likewise. The cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, Councillor Roger Philips, has indicated that Herefordshire Council will support this initiative. 
 
1.5 The City Council has no direct role in a BID, although it is highly likely that if it were to take place the Management Committee would wish to appoint a City Centre Manager to look after the district within which it applies and to promote events to increase footfall. How this would impact on the City’s events programme remains to be seen but potential it could supplement or partly replace it. This could free up some resources to be moved outside the historic commercial centre and into the wider community. 
 
1.6 It is likely to take between eighteen and twenty four months to come to a position where a ballot could be held and a BID created. In the meantime the City could add support in principle and a decision to do this would enable City Council officers to provide assistance as requested and, subject to other calls on their time, to help with the formation of the BID. 
 
2. Proposal 
2.1 That the City Council endorses in principle the formation of a Business Improvement District to include the historic commercial core of the City and such other areas as research indicates should be included. 
 
2.2 That the City Council authorises the Town Clerk to provide support for the BID subject to other calls on staff time as and when this would be appropriate. 
 
Steve Kerry 
Town Clerk

 

 

 

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I know a couple of the business people involved with this.

 

So far - it seems like nothing is confirmed and they are canvassing opinion from business owners in the city centre what they would like a BID to do.

 

The argument of "us business already pay our rates" is great, however there are lots of things the council is currently overlooking, as such a group of business owners getting together to take back some control over the city can only be a great thing.

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I really do give this a cautious welcome.....it sounds incredibly positive.

 

The "experts"on High Town, are surely the business owners, and if they can get this up and going and make much needed improvements, then I'm all for it.

 

If they can cut the council out of the loop all together, so much the better.

 

Let's face it, this scheme stands a much better chance of succeeding if the council keep their noses out!

( Obvious exceptions to this apply.....Glenda, Jim, Mark et al!!)

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Which Council - city or county?

The thing is that so many of these "initiatives" turn out to bring little if any positive result as all they do is talk, survey and produce paper

 

I meant the District Council - of necessity they are on the Steering Group - I just hope they are kept in check and not allowed to hijack the scheme at the eleventh hour, taking all the credit for doing nothing and then in all probability screwing it up. I'm with Aylestone Hill - too often these things are talking shops for the suits with no real work on the ground ever materialising.

 

I'd like to see the City running itself as it used to when there was the District/County arrangement - a much more balanced and fair approach with checks and balances, unlike the unitary scheme foisted upon us.

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Richard Hadley stood as "A Positive Choice For Ledbury" candidate in a Ledbury Town Council election early this year and won with 48% of the vote. His blog has some salient points concerning the safeguarding of the town centre and his views on The Marches LEP and Hereford Council are quite clear. 

 

His manifesto is also well worth a read.

 

Maybe some of our councillors can see where they are going wrong.

 

 

 

 

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There are Councillors (City and District) in the BID Steering Group. However, they are simply acting as individuals with an interest in the city's future and are not representing the Council.

 

If the BID election is successful, the money generated by the BID is ring-fenced and can only by spent by the BID Board in line with the Business Plan outlined in the BID prospectus. There is zero chance of the Council being able to interfere or dominate.

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There are Councillors (City and District) in the BID Steering Group. However, they are simply acting as individuals with an interest in the city's future and are not representing the Council.

If the BID election is successful, the money generated by the BID is ring-fenced and can only by spent by the BID Board in line with the Business Plan outlined in the BID prospectus. There is zero chance of the Council being able to interfere or dominate.

 
Business Improvement Districts 
Standard Note: SN/PC/04591 
Last updated: 9 September 2013 
Author: Mark Sandford 
Section Parliament & Constitution Centre 
 
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are partnerships between local authorities and local businesses which are intended to provide additional services or improvements to a specified area. A BID must be agreed by ballot and is funded in whole or in part by a levy additional to the non-domestic rates. 
 
This standard note sets out the working of Business Improvements Districts in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It provides details on how BIDs may be constituted, with reference to key figures. 
 
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There are Councillors (City and District) in the BID Steering Group. However, they are simply acting as individuals with an interest in the city's future and are not representing the Council.

 

If the BID election is successful, the money generated by the BID is ring-fenced and can only by spent by the BID Board in line with the Business Plan outlined in the BID prospectus. There is zero chance of the Council being able to interfere or dominate.

 

So have the HT got it wrong? 

 

"The people behind the BID steering group include representatives from Herefordshire Council, Hereford City Council, Visit Herefordshire, Young Enterprise, as well as businesses and other organisations such as All Saints’ Café, Fit Clothing, Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Primark, Chave and Jackson, and Hereford Cathedral."

 

This is the same situation as Hereford Futiles - representatives from the Council on the board, until it all went pear shaped and, to avoid disclosing information, those directors suddenly became 'individuals'.

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An unfortunate choice of words! As far as I can see, there are a couple of City and District Councillors on the BID Steering Group. However, they do not come with any Council mandate - nor is it certain they will feature on the BID Board.

 

The 'partnership' element extends only as far as the Council must carry out the BID ballot and collect the additional rates generated by a BID. After that, the Council must hand the funding (believed to be in the region of £250k) to the BID Board who are legally required to spend it in line with the BID manifesto.

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Harry.

Did I see somewhere that one of the Chadd family was involved? A good first start would be for them to spend a few pounds cleaning up the shops they still own. The windows are really dirty and doorways are an utter mess. I did speak to the estate agents some time ago who said they would pass on my concerns but this clearly had little effect.

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  • 2 months later...

Does anybody have an update on how the Business Improvement District is progressing?

 

It's been a few months since we have heard anything, and with Aylestone Voices' concern about the Chadds building, and of course the burnt out River Island building still covered in scaffolding, both exactly as they were - it would be good to hear if this group was gathering pace and moving forward with their plans to improve High Town??

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Dippy - I understand that it is moving forward, but it is a slow process.

 

All the business' involved in the catchment area need to be contacted, the owners/bill payers need to be met, spoken with, canvassed, get their thoughts, collate all the info and then a plan put into place to try and make it all happen.

 

This wont be a quick thing happening in the next 6 weeks, more like another 6 months to get it working properly, and at a point in which a vote can take place. 

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  • 3 months later...

I really do give this a cautious welcome.....it sounds incredibly positive.

 

The "experts"on High Town, are surely the business owners, and if they can get this up and going and make much needed improvements, then I'm all for it.

 

If they can cut the council out of the loop all together, so much the better.

 

Let's face it, this scheme stands a much better chance of succeeding if the council keep their noses out!

( Obvious exceptions to this apply.....Glenda, Jim, Mark et al!!)

 

Looks like some businesses are getting it right in these difficult times. Well done.

 

19th November Hereford Times News by Adam Knight
 
 
A HEREFORD institution since 1845, Philip Morris & Son has been praised for its remarkable longevity and willingness to adapt and improve at an awards ceremony for family businesses.
 
The Widemarsh Street store scooped the Best Small Family Business Award at the 2014 Midlands Family Business Awards last week in Nottingham.
 
And the judges were quick to pay tribute to the businesses 169-year history in the industry.
 
Judge and journalist Dhiren Katwa called the business' life-span “remarkarkableâ€.
 
Part of that success comes from an ability to move with the market, and the Hereford store was praised for its growing national presence as an online retailer.
 
Event sponsor Chris Crouch said: “Philip Morris & Son has been trading since 1845 and embraced innovation in an ever-changing retail market, continuing to thrive by differentiating itself through the quality of its customer service.
 
“The family has retained a firm set of values, respect for one another and passion and pride for what they do, with a continuing desire to grow their business.
 
“They have proved themselves to be a worthy winner – a truly inspirational family business.â€
 
The store is now run by Maurice and Bunty Jones – and their sons John and Bruce – after Maurice’s grandfather bought the company from the Morris family in the early-twentieth century.
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Mr Philip Morris is also the Chair of the BID team.

 

He is a good guy trying to take the town in the right direction.

 

Im quite close to someone on the BID team and get regular updates.

 

I understand the town will be going for the vote in Jan / Feb 2015.

 

The BID project is about pulling all the good things that are going on in Hereford together and assisting projects get over the finishing line.

It is also about lobbying for the "public realm" to be tidied up and increasing footfall to our lovely city.

 

The line I hear a lot is "The BID will be bigger than the sum of its parts" by having access to the right people to make things happen and be the voice of business to the LEP and Hereford Council whilst putting on events to draw people to town.

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