Businesses and organisations in Nottingham city centre have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a second term for the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) in the recent renewal ballot which means that it now has the green light to build on all the great work that it has been doing in the city for the last three years.
Businesses and organisations in the retail, leisure, office and education sectors in the area covered by the BID were given the opportunity to vote on whether they wanted the BID to continue. The results of the ballot have just been announced with 89 percent of those that voted by number and 94 percent by rateable value, backing the BID. Turnout was 45 percent by number and 55 percent by rateable value.
The news has been warmly welcomed by Jeff Allen, chairman of the Nottingham BID and his fellow directors as well as by members of the BID who are all extremely pleased by the resounding success of the ballot.
“We are delighted that we have such overwhelming support from businesses and that they want the BID to continue,” said Jeff Allen. “It’s brilliant news as it means that £5m of investment will be generated for the city over the next five years which will be used for the benefit of businesses in Nottingham as well as for people who live, study and work here. We now look forward to delivering the services and initiatives set out in our Business Plan to put Nottingham firmly on the map as a regional and national city of choice for shopping, leisure, work and study.”
This vision will be achieved by focusing on four key areas of strategy: Promoted City, Independent City, Working City and Managed City. The BID will also ring-fence £100,000 per annum for the independent sector and will continue to be a strong and influential voice for businesses in the city centre to affect positive change.
Some of the highlights of the BID’s activities will be working with businesses to establish a strong and viable late night trading economy; creating a digital platform to reconnect online customers with visits to the High Street; developing the 48 Hours brand into a calendar of signature events for which Nottingham will become known nationally and engaging with the student population and those who work in the city centre to encourage them to engage with, and take advantage of, all that the city has to offer.
The activities will be funded by an annual levy of 1.25% that is applicable to those businesses in the area covered by the BID that have a rateable value of over £25,000.
Councillor Nick McDonald, portfolio holder for jobs, growth and transport at Nottingham City Council said: “We are extremely pleased that the BID has been voted in for a second term. We recognise the additional investment the BID brings to the city, and its huge importance to the business community. We look forward to continuing to work with the BID and other partners, building on what we have achieved so far, to further enhance Nottingham city centre for the benefit of people who live, work and study here as well as visitors.”
A number of members of the Nottingham BID have expressed their support.
“With two shopping centres in the city centre we are clearly delighted that there has been an overwhelming positive vote for the BID,” said Janine Bone, regional centre director for the Midlands for intu Properties who own intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh Centre. “intu see the Nottingham BID as a key partner in the ongoing success of the city centre.”
“We have one pub in the BID’s newly expanded area – Bunkers Hill,” said Andrew Crawford, operations director of the Pub People Company. “Now that the BID has been given the go ahead for a second term it means that we will be able to take full advantage of all the great work that it does, in particular their initiatives to support the leisure sector and the evening economy and their role as an influential voice for business in the city.”
“Our staff are really important to us and we are backing the BID as we are keen to support initiatives which help to create a safer and more pleasant environment for them and which enhance the urban landscape too,” said Mark Hobson, managing director of architectural practice Maber. “Our employees will also be able to benefit from all the marketing initiatives that the BID delivers.”
Tim Harries of city property consultants Tim Harries & Partners added: “As advisers to a number of clients with strategic office and retail property holdings in the city we welcome the news of the BID’s success in securing a second term and recognise the benefits that this will bring to our clients’ business occupiers and customers.”
The verdict comes at a transformative time for the city’s retail landscape and fortunes following several years of wide-scale redevelopment to the city centre and transport systems, allowing visitors and local residents better access to the city centre. A consistent programme of events is also boosting the numbers of people using the city centre, whilst wider planned regeneration projects will improve gateway areas into Nottingham.