City centre businesses VOTE YES to Lancaster BID
Lancaster BID is delighted to announce the strong backing of city centre businesses who have overwhelmingly voted YES to continue the BID for another Five Years. An impressive 79.4% of votes cast were in favour of Lancaster BID.
Every business which pays a BID levy had the opportunity to vote in the ballot. Despite lockdown, the number of votes cast held strong and was comparable to the previous ballot five years ago. The result also showed more than a 10% increase in the proportion of businesses voting in favour of Lancaster BID.
The success of this ballot will see a direct investment from businesses into Lancaster city centre of over £1.15 million over five-year period from 1st April 2021. The BID will also attract additional funding into the city to greatly increase direct investment in support of city centre businesses.
Lancaster BID will now set to work delivering an ambitious Business Plan working towards Five Key Goals to ensure Lancaster remains a popular and welcoming place to live, study, work, visit and do business. The Five Key Goals are:
· Marketing Lancaster as a Destination – this will be achieved through a combination of online and traditional marketing methods to raise the profile of the city centre to locals and visitors.
· Safe and Secure City Centre – Lancaster BID will continue to provide a BID Warden to enhance safety and reduce crime and antisocial behaviour through improved networking between different businesses and agencies including the Police. The Street Aid Scheme will continue to support people to remain off the streets and our Shop Watch initiative will formally launch to facilitate formal intelligence sharing amongst city centre businesses.
· Clean and Attractive City Centre – Strategic projects to visually enhance the city centre will be delivered alongside installation of seasonal street decorations and a continued targeted approach to keeping the city centre clean and tidy to ensure it provides a pleasant and welcoming environment for all.
· High Quality Events Programme – as soon as COVID restrictions allow, there will be a relaunch of our ambitious annual programme of flagship events including regular favourites such as Dino Day, Festa Italia and the Christmas Lights Switch On. Partnership events including Light Up Lancaster, Lancaster Music Festival and Lancaster Jazz Festival will also be supported to return to help rebuild a vibrant city centre. New and exciting events will also be added to the programme to increase footfall and dwell time in the city centre.
· Direct Support to Businesses – Lancaster BID will ensure a regular flow of relevant information to city centre businesses as well as organising themed networking events and relevant training. This will include the return of the popular BID Breakfast events and the BID Ambassador Awards. Initiatives will be tailored to changing
circumstances to ensure businesses receive the maximum level of support in the most effective manner.
Nick Wilkinson, Chair of the Lancaster BID Management Board said “We are delighted with the strength of support shown by the result of this ballot. Businesses of all sizes have confirmed their confidence in Lancaster BID and delivered us a strong remit to push ahead with our ambitious plans for the next five years.”
Lancaster BID Manager, Tony Johnson, added “Lancaster BID has worked hard to support all city centre businesses through the challenges of the pandemic. The increased Yes Vote from five years ago really shows how much businesses value the support of Lancaster BID and gives us a strong remit moving forward.”
“With signs starting to look positive, we anticipate that restrictions will soon begin to be safely relaxed. As businesses are finally able to reopen their doors, we believe that Lancaster BID will be more important than ever to help rebuild footfall and support the city centre to thrive once again.”
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) must hold a ballot a minimum of every five years to ensure they still have the support of the businesses who have to pay into them. Without the ballot, and the strong show of support, Lancaster BID would have ceased to exist on 31st March 2021.
The success of Lancaster BID relies on the support and engagement of businesses from across the city centre. Through bringing business together, Lancaster BID aims to make a significant positive difference for everyone. When current restrictions are finally eased Lancaster BID will be encouraging local people to venture safely back into the city centre and show your support for local businesses.
Businesses in the city centre wanting to find out more about Lancaster BID and how they can support you should contact the BID team on 01524 590650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.