Welcome to our first Newsletter of 2019. We do hope you had a good Christmas and are looking forward to a successful New Year.
Important note: Please remember The Winter Lantern Parade is this weekend (following postponement due to bad weather in December). Road closures will start at 4pm, with the on-street entertainment starting at about 5pm. The Parade itself will start at 5:30pm, following the usual route, and the fireworks will be set off at about 7pm. More details at www.bwlp.org.uk
In other news...
Marketing and Promotion
Christmas Celebrations - With only two months between securing a successful ballot and Christmas being upon us we had to get our festive skates on and Christmas plans in action. We hope you enjoyed the new lights on North Street in particular which we thought looked great. Sadly we say goodbye to the Elf Village on North St Green, which the Elf and Safety have deemed unfit for habitation.
Events – Considerable efforts went into North Street Nights (ie Thursday shopping evenings on North Street) with much positive feedback of some of the activities, in particular the staging of Scrooge in the Ebenezer Gate pocket park which attracted an extraordinary 160 people. Many thanks to the organisers and volunteers.
Next steps – We are now organising an events calendar for the rest of the year with ideas around close-the-road summer festivals for both North Street and East Street and the return of various On the Run events (ie musicians, magicians etc). If you have any ideas in particular that you think would go down well in Bemmie please do email or come along to the next marketing meeting on the last Monday of this month 6pm in Tobacco Factory.
Built Environment (ie planning, transport etc)
Street Cleansing – the increase in graffiti in the area is in fact a city-wide problem. However one of the benefits of having a BID in place and our own funding is the ability to redirect monies to address specific problems. As such the BID will invest in graffiti removal and wash-downs including a vehicle with high powered hot wash for the next six months across the entire BID area.
Lower North Street – finally the new buildings in this part of the BID area are complete and the car parking has been returned for... well cars. Whilst its clear this part of Bedminster has seen quite a renaissance in the past few years with numerous new interesting independent shops opening up, this stretch perhaps deserves a bit more TLC in terms of pavements, greening, planters, cycle racks etc. As such we are commissioning a small design exercise by place-making specialists to see what can be done – if anything given the narrow pavements here.
East Street – its all change on East Street in the medium term with well over 1000 new apartments either being built (in St Catherine’s Place and Factory 1) or planned around Bedminster Green. The positive impact this will have on East Street should not be underestimated in terms of new local demand (what value in £s around 2000 more people within 2 minutes walk?). However we are keen that these new residents spend as much time as possible on East Street and so we believe now is the time for fresh investment and something of a ‘facelift’ for the street which suffers from high shop vacancy rates (ie 20% compared to the rest of the BID being only around 6%) and a poor ‘public realm’ (ie landscaping). In addition to monies being raised from developers adjacent to East Street we are making the case for East Street to be nominated by the council for the Future High Street Fund which would mean several £m worth of much needed investment.
GET INVOLVED IN THE BID
If you are interested in becoming more closely involved with the BID, we are an informal, friendly group, whose basic duties are to direct spending for the BID and Town Team. The BID Board meets 6pm on the first Tuesday of each month. Please do get in touch if you'd like to get involved.
Alternatively a marketing (and arts, culture) group meets on the last Monday of every month also at 6pm and a Built Environment Group on the first Tuesday monthly at 4pm (please see our calendar here). Alternatively if you prefer drop us a line or telephone us for a chat to discuss any ideas you have that you think the BID should be pursuing.
About the Business Improvement District
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 benefitBedminster 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
Business to business news: www.bedminster.org.uk/business-what-is-bid
Customer facing website and social media:
We are grateful to local accountants Tyrrell Procter and communications experts Plaster for their generous pro bono contributions to our activities.