Why a BID?
BIDs are the fastest growing partnership framework we have seen for decades in the UK. Quite simply a BID is a geographically defined area where businesses pay into a collective kitty to pay for additional services that they feel will benefit them and the local community.
Each business pays in according to its size (by Rateable Value: RV) and ALL the money collected goes to buying the extras determined by common consent. The process is managed by the businesses themselves and lasts for up to five years. Royston has had a BID since 2009 but its first term is due to finish next year, in March 2014.
Research to date and the overall conclusions From answers received from business levy payers (representing over 3,000 employees):
- Rising business costs are viewed as the greatest challenge to future profitability
- +56% feel that Royston has remained the same or has improved as a place to conduct business in the last four years, since the BID was introduced
…. and from Royston users:
- 87% visit once a week or more frequently but stay less than two hours in total
- 50% come to town by car….but a fifth of them still find parking less than easy
- 80% feel that the town’s commercial offer is disappointingly poor
- 94% like the market but would prefer it to trade for longer and more frequently
- Cambridge, Stevenage and Letchworth are the principal competitors
- The park and the friendliness of the people are Royston’s key strengths
- 55% would spend more time and money in the town if the shopping offer was better
The results of our research prompted us to come up with the following prioritised actions we plan to tackle over the next five years:
- Business as usual….the current BID activities that must continue (they would disappear if a ‘No’ vote is the result of the forthcoming renewal ballot)
- Making sure Royston remains the focus for its local community
- Supporting local businesses….more activities we can do together to help
- Making more of marketing, promotion and events
- Choosing and delivering another ‘Big Win’