Businesses are leading the fight back against struggling high streets by clubbing together and raising millions of pounds to improve them.
Forming Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), they are raising more than £2.1 million every week which is then re-invested back into our towns and city centres.
Originating from Canada, BIDs are growing across the country with tens of thousands (128,785) of pubs, shops, cinemas, cafes and offices now part of a BID.
The income raised is re-invested back into high streets, town and city centres, and spent on vital schemes to help transform them – from improving parking, safety, recycling and accessibility to arranging utility cost savings, events and festivals, and extra street cleaning – all with the aim of attracting people to our town centres and helping our businesses thrive.
The figures come from British BIDs, part of Savills – a major player behind this high street phenomenon. Formed of industry experts, they help with setting up and supporting BIDs at every stage including reviewing business plans, helping with recruitment and renewals, and providing advice and training courses.
Turning 10 years old this year, they’re growing fast. They want to see the number of BIDs rapidly increase over the next decade and become central in raising income which is then reinvested back into the high street.
Chris Turner, Chief Executive of British BIDs, said: “We begin a new decade, with a new majority government, however our high streets still face the same challenges from the rise in internet shopping to heavy rents and rates. Businesses are leading the fight back against struggling high streets by joining together and raising millions of pounds to transform them in many cases.
“In 2020, we must re-double our efforts to re-invent our high streets, attract people to them, and help our businesses thrive in the process.
“Business Improvement Districts play a vital role – led by businesses for businesses, they are raising millions to improve their towns and cities, making them safer, cleaner, and more attractive to shoppers and visitors.
“We want to see this investment double in the next decade, and BIDs working with local authorities and other community organisations can make this happen. We look forward to playing our part by helping set them up, grow, succeed and transform our high streets.”
British BIDs, the leading industry organisation, celebrates its 10th birthday this year. It is the largest and longest established membership organisation for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), local authorities and businesses.
This year, British BIDs is launching brand new courses for its membership including: a Diploma in Leadership covering media training, advanced finances, HR and leadership skills; and Governing and Managing a BID – a course aimed at BID Managers and Board Members, with training delivered on site.