Welcome to your August edition of the Bedminster BID Newsletter
BID BUSINESS PLAN LAUNCHED
As we reported in our last newsletter we were exploring the possibility of another ballot in order to secure the future of the BID for a further five years. Consultation has been very positive in favour of a further ballot and as such we have now revised the five year business plan and commenced circulation of hard copies to all businesses affected. Please click here to open the business plan.
Why a second ballot so soon? You may recall the ballot result from earlier this year was negative despite 70% of businesses voting in favour of the BID. This is because the ballot must be won on the basis of two counts - by number of businesses and also by rateable value. The second count by rateable value was lost because the largest superstore in Bedminster voted NO and its massive rateable value was enough to swing the ballot into negative territory. Given a significant majority of businesses voted positively towards renewing the BID for a further five years the BID Board decided to consult businesses again on the possibility of a new BID that would exclude the largest ratepayer and allow the smaller businesses to work together to improve marketing, street enhancements, safety and ensure a strong voice for Bedminster businesses.
Do we need a BID? Traditional high street sales continue to fall and shop vacancies continue to grow in many locations with numerous household names closing their doors for the final time. In Bedminster alone in the past few months we have had the closure of Bon Marche and the announcement that Argos is to depart. In our view it is essential we respond by improving the shopping experience in Bedminster and create something based on uniqueness, authenticity and community – ie something it is impossible for the internet to match. A BID will help greatly in this regard.
OTHER BID NEWS
Other BID Projects: The result of the March ballot means the BID has missed out on six months worth of income and as such many projects and activities have been seriously curtailed. However we are able to guarantee some Christmas events - given this is the key time of year for most businesses (such as The Lantern Parade, Christmas Fairs and Lights etc) - and a small number of other events in the summer. We have also been successful securing grants from other sources particularly for East Street.
Bedminster Green Developments: as reported in earlier newsletters there is now a large amount of property developer activity proposed around 'Bedminster Green' - the area between East Street and Windmill Hill. Six developments have the potential to deliver up to 1500 new homes within a few minutes walk of East Street, meaning a major injection of new footfall and demand for shops and other businesses in the area. We are all aware that lower East Street has probably been suffering more than most parts of Bedminster in terms of vacant shop units and have long recognised the benefits of redevelopment close by. With this in mind the BID is working hard with the council to ensure these new developments benefit East Street. We are also working with local architects Purcell to develop a vision for the area that we hope will enable it to thrive in the 21st century. For further details of the written policy the BID has produced for East Street development please see the last newsletter.
BID Community Bus Service: a number of businesses have highlighted that large pockets of South Bristol have very poor access to Bedminster and there is a need for a community bus service to fill the gaps not being served by the larger bus operators. Unfortunately this is a very expensive endeavour with just a 16 seater bus operating six days a week during work hours costing circa £100,000pa. However we have unearthed a major grant application opportunity aimed at 'Connecting Communities' and we are hopeful our application will be successful - more details to follow.
Business to business news: www.bedminster.org.uk/business
Customer facing website and social media:
George Grace - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jocelyn Wellby - email@example.com
Simon Dicken (Wilko) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stef Brammar (AGB) - email@example.com
Ben Barker - firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE BEDMINSTER BID
Bedminster BID funding is generated via a small levy on all eligible businesses in the area and paid into a central 'kitty' in November each year, to be spent on projects that benefit Bedminster businesses. Our stated priorities are to:
Create vibrant streets that excite and delight
Market and promote Bedminster
Reduce crime and improve the shopping environment
Advocate and lobby for Bedminster business interests
Drive down costs
Please get in touch if you have any ideas about what we should do. Or, if you wish to attend a board meeting or one of our specialist sub-groups in Marketing, Arts & Culture or Built Environment (ie transport, planning and street improvement), please see our calendar here and drop us a line.
Finally we are grateful to local accountants Tyrrell Procter and communications experts Plaster for their generous pro bono contributions to the BID’s activities.