Expansive Liverpool BID sets out five-year plan
With its levy-paying members set to vote next month on a further five-year term, Liverpool BID Company has launched its business plan for the Retail & Leisure business improvement district, including its intent to expand the district’s boundaries.
Ahead of June’s postal ballot, the organisation has released a plan outlining a £5m investment plan covering improving safety and cleanliness, along with boosting footfall through events and space animation.
The BID area covers 35 acres in the streets in and around Liverpool’s retail core, including Bold Street, the Cavern Quarter, Church Street, Williamson Square, Clayton Square, Queen Square, St Johns and Metquarter and now has around 650 members.
Responding to requests from businesses in outlying streets, there are plans to expand the BID outwards. This includes Victoria Street along the northern edge, but the most notable move is to include Lime Street, along with Renshaw Street and surrounding roads, including Newington, at the eastern edge of the city core.
There are also some infill-type additions in the par of the city centre between the BID and Liverpool ONE.
Formerly known as the City Central BID, the business improvement district was launched in 2005 and was most recently voted on for a five-year term in 2013. Should more than 50% respond in favour of renewal in June, the BID will win a further term, running until May 2023.
The BID said that it will continue to improve accessibility, wayfinding and free Wi-Fi. Other plans include additional cleaning machines and covering the cost of additional policing. The BID also covers seasonal communal costs such as Christmas lights and events.
Over the course of the five years, the amount collected is expected to climb, reaching just over £900,000 in the fifth year, and with property owner contributions and other income streams, more than £5m will be gathered from businesses to be reinvested.
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “We really value our long-term partnership with the Liverpool BID Company and the role it plays in supporting and promoting the city centre economy. I urge all businesses to back the BID.”
Although not universally popular, BIDS are rarely voted down once in place and tend to be favoured by small businesses in particular. Ian Silverberg, managing director of Silverberg Opticians on Whitechapel, said: “All the entertainment and Christmas lights that the BID brings to the city enhance the visitor experience.
“It is good to see how no matter the size or sector of your business you can have a say and be involved in making a better city.”
Bill Addy, chief executive, Liverpool BID Company, said: “The Liverpool BID Company has a key role to play in supporting our levy payers in the rapidly changing landscape of the high street, providing additional services to support cleaner and safer streets, along with a well promoted and animated city centre that encourage repeat visitors.
“This is now more important than ever when in this current climate difficult austerity measures have been placed upon our local authority and police service. We must all work together to improve our city.”
Since legislation permitting them was passed in 2003, BIDs have become common in the UK. Although most are in town or city centres, the 300th British BID was confirmed in April, in the Penrith industrial zone.