BID boost for business

Birmingham City Council report that there was a YES vote for the Colmore Business District BID. The BID is the third in Birmingham, following the Broad Street and Retail Birmingham BID's. The Broad Street BID was one of the UK's first and was set up in 2005. The Colmore Business District BID is the first in the UK to cover an area with a heavy financial focus.

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area within which the local business community work together to invest collectively in new projects and services that they have prioritised to address opportunities and problems that affect their businesses,staff and clients,

The ballot for the BID had 87.3% voting in favour with a 90.1% majority by rateable value allowing the BID to be created. The BID will be operational for five years from the 1st April 2009 bringing £3.4 million of private sector funding into a package of improvements for the area, funded by a 1% levy on rateable value.

Some of the ambitions of the Colmore BID are listed below, excerpted from the Colmore Business District BID Proposal

Cleaner, greener and attractive
• To secure a higher quality ‘streetscape’ commensurate with business expectations and aspirations for the District Actions
• Undertake and promote a range of environmental improvements involving the creation of attractive and sustainable public spaces, gateways and corridors
• Provide a dedicated ‘attention to detail’ cleaning and caretaking service

Accessible and connected
• To improve accessibility to the District and way
finding within it Actions
• Initiate and promote a range of street and IT based signage and information media
• Provide street warden ‘meeting and greeting’ services
• Work in partnership with the providers of public transport, parking and highways to improve the efficiency and customer focus of local services.

Branded and promoted
• To support local business competitiveness in key regional, national and international markets and assist with the attraction and retention of investment
and key staff Actions
• Develop proactive branding and marketing initiatives to promote the District’s identity and investment potential in partnership with Marketing Birmingham, Locate in Birmingham and Advantage West Midlands
• Provide businesses, candidates and new staff with access to on-line information and ‘welcome packs’

Safe and welcoming
• To present a more user friendly ‘face’ of the District to clients, staff and visitors and secure visible improvements to actual and perceived safety across the District Actions
• Provide a ‘customer focused’ welcome and reassuring presence through Street Wardens operating across all public areas
• Introduce safety measures including upgraded lighting and other physical improvements
• Promote liaison and communication with businesses, the Police and other public agencies regarding significant incidents within or affecting the District.

Networked and engaged community
• To facilitate a vibrant local business network and promote meaningful engagement with the wider community Actions
• Provide businesses and their staff with new channels and events for the dissemination and exchange of information and commercial opportunities
• Promote appropriate initiatives for businesses and their staff to engage in Corporate Social Responsibility activities.

The BID area covers over 500 companies employing just under 24,000 people with the BID being paid for by a one per cent levy on rateable value to businesses with a rateable value of £10,000 or more.

“The response we have received from businesses within the Colmore Business District during the consultation has been extremely enthusiastic and positive.

“The business case for the BID is a strong one, the benefits are clear and the BID is confident that we can deliver the objectives being developed for our proposal and very quickly tenants and visitors will be able to see the positive contribution the BID is making to the area. Where a BID is already in operation the area has been transformed.”

The BID will be run by a board of directors drawn from business leaders within the district, led by a full-time manager.

Its main aim will be to ensure the Colmore Business District remains the major commercial centre for business in the city and improve its services, environment and atmosphere for the benefit of businesses, their staff and visitors.

The BID website has more information:


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