Businesses wanted the BID to develop initiatives to attract new businesses to the area, filling empty shops and premises to create a thriving mix of shops, restaurants and businesses.
The BID worked with a professional survey group to explore what businesses thought about trading in the area, their performance and what they need from the BID. As well as commissioning, a company who specialises in retail intelligence to install footfall counters to measure traffic around the emerging investment areas.
In association with Business in Community Healthy High Streets team, we launched the ‘Be Surprised’ awards, a scheme to celebrate individuals who commit themselves to outstanding contribution, specialist knowledge and customer service.
We organise events to encourage visitors to discover shops, cafés and businesses in shopping districts around the edge of the main shopping centre. We continue to digitally photograph and film the town centre for marketing and promotion.
- To address the concerns of businesses raised by the Retail Group survey by developing regular monthly newsletters to encourage participation in working groups, raise awareness and additional income through voluntary levy payers.
- To commission a new map of the town centre which can be utilised for visitor marketing collateral and administration events.
- To showcase new and existing food and beverage businesses and encourage more restaurants and cafés and customers with regular pop-up street food and street fair offers to increase dwell time and customer spend.
- To develop a sustainable series of themed town centre walks, talks and tours and explore connections with organisations such as Women’s Institutes.
- To seek partnership funding increase number of ‘on call’ volunteers for special events, tours through the Blackburn Hosts scheme.