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BID press statement

19th September 2017

Categories: Latest News

"The City Centre Partnership has spent the last year evaluating the positive impact a Business Improvement District could bring to the businesses and stakeholders of Stoke-on-Trent City Centre.

At this time there are so many good aspects being delivered such as the excellent public realm works; the launch of The Hive with seven restaurants and cinema complex; a new Premier Inn with plans already for expansion; the significant announcement of the international brand Hilton bringing a 4 star hotel; new independent cafes and brasseries re-energising the Cultural Quarter; the establishing of the Smithfield office blocks bringing in more than 400 new workers; the plans for Unity Walk with 20+ additional shops and restaurants, another hotel and an IMAX cinema; and the city's ambitious plans to compete for 2021's UK City of Culture title, something that will bring a major national raising of the profile of our city and city centre.

So, at the City Centre Partnership we believe now is the ideal time for city centre businesses to capitalise on all this investment and look to build momentum off it, to help take our city centre forward. We believe that becoming a Business Improvement District would be the perfect tool to empower this and so we want to present and recommend this opportunity to city centre businesses.

There are currently more than 260 BIDs in operation across the country generating a staggering £75 million a year to re-invest back into the local business economies they serve. Almost every major town or city either has a BID or is investigating one.

So successful have they been that of those voted in for a first term over 90% were re-elected by local businesses to run for a second term. Local businesses are quick to see and retain their benefit!

Government and business are drawn to invest into areas that have a BID because they are seen as sectors where businesses are pro-active, forward thinking, and willing to take an engaged responsibility for their area to help it press into a more prosperous future. So much so, BIDs are greatly trusted and generally manage to lever in another 50% in additional funding from other sources.

Whilst the exact mandate for a Stoke-on-Trent city centre BID would be decided following a thorough consultation with city centre businesses, the potential is to make a significant improvement to aspects such as increased events and activities that bring colour and animation to the city centre; attract new businesses and inward investment to fill those empty shops and wasteland sites; to market and promote our city centre more effectively; to resource potential solutions to issues such as homelessness and ASB; to resource a team of people whose role would be to continually work and be advocates for the betterment of the city centre; and much else.

Vital to a successful BID is a strong collaborative partnership with the local authority. The CCP has therefore consulted with the City Council and have asked if they would make the initial required funds available to investigate the development of a BID for the city centre.

Additionally, whilst at the CCP we are extremely positive about such a direction for the city centre, we should be clear that at this point no final decisions regarding a BID can been taken, until further feasibility and research is undertaken."

Jonathan Bellamy

Chair, Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Partnership

May 2017

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