Future High Street Summit attendees set to discover why BIDs are taking UK by storm

Following recent government support of business improvement districts (BIDs) and the growing popularity of the business community groups in town and city centres across the UK, speakers at next March’s Future High Street Summit are gearing up to explore the ins and outs of the BID industry – allowing delegates the opportunity to decide on the best course for their local high street regeneration.

Speakers from DCLG, Alliance Boots, and the UK’s longest-running BID, Kingstonfirst, will utilise the ‘What are the pros and cons of BIDs?’ session to demonstrate their experiences and establish how their respective industries are equally supportive of the decade-old BID movement.

Recent figures show that there are now almost 200 BIDs in operation around the country, with numbers growing every year. The investment into BID areas is close to the £200 million mark – a huge boost to the economy at a time when local authority budgets are being cut back.

“BIDs are becoming a more popular option for business communities who want to improve their local high streets,” says Clare Rayner, high street campaigner and founder of the Future High Street Summit. “The BID industry has been growing since its inception a decade ago, and 2013 and 2014 have seen higher numbers of BIDs introduced across the country.

“At the Future High Street Summit, we want to show attendees how the BID industry has evolved and why forming a BID could be a viable option for their local high street development.”

Gaining ground

Last month, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) released its Review of BIDs to explore how BIDs are helping shape the future of town centres.

Upon the announcement of the review’s findings, DCLG announced its intentions to implement several initiatives to boost BIDs’ quality and success within their communities, and to simplify the BID process.

Mark Holder, Team Leader for DCLG’s Town Centre and High Streets Division, comments, “BIDs’ contribution to the local regeneration fund is considerable. DCLG applauds the ongoing success of these business-led economic development organisations.

“The outcome of the Review points clearly to closer collaboration between BIDs and their local authorities, as well as improving the accountability and quality of BIDs. This will encourage more areas to create BIDs able to deliver for their businesses and for their local community. I will present the findings from the Review in more detail at the Summit.”

Ros Morgan is Chief Executive of Kingstonfirst, the UK’s first business improvement district and one of the largest BIDs in the country, with almost 1,000 business members.

She is currently one of 15 BID Experts on the British BIDs and ATCM Leadership Networks and a member of the GLA Steering Group for London BIDs.

She comments, “Kingstonfirst leads the way in driving innovation, implementing change and encouraging growth. As Kingstonfirst successfully enters its third BID term following a proven ten-year programme of activities, it plans to invest £8.27 million into the town over the next five years.

“At the Summit, I will be talking about the evolution of BIDs, in particular the importance of the BID on generating a return on investment for businesses and the importance of driving Kingston forward as a leading destination in the UK.”

Mark Ross, BIDs Programme Manager at ATCM, says, “For the last ten years, the ATCM has provided BIDs with education and support, as part of our commitment to members and in helping people make great places. The growth of BIDs since 2003 has seen not just large cities develop BIDs but small centres as well. The common theme for all of these was a need to improve the area and the local business community becoming champions for this cause and their town centres.

“In 2014, we have more than 180 BIDs in the UK, contributing nearly £200 million in investment for their areas and this is a great testimony to the businesses in these areas who are investing in the future of our towns and cities. ATCM will continue to support and help all BIDs as we have for the last decade.”

Andy Godfrey, Public Policy Manager at Alliance Boots, is also speaking at the event.

The Future High Street Summit will be held at Nottingham Conference Centre within Nottingham Trent University on 25th and 26th March. For more information on the event and to see an outline agenda with the other featured high street factors, delegates can visit the Future High Street Summit website.

Tickets for the conference are on sale now and attendees can sign up at www.futurehighstreet.co.uk/register.

Comments are closed.

    2018 A1 Buyers Guide
  • A1 Retail Twitter