Happy New Year – at a time when we traditionally take stock and looking forward, I can’t believe how quickly time has flown and that we are already going into our fifth and final year.

It’s hard to imagine that in 2013 when we began, much of the town was still a building site, the bus station, Cathedral Square, College, Railway Station and Mall development had not been completed!

Who could have believed that within such a short time we’d have helped win Great British High Street of the Year, achieved Gold awards in the RHS Britain in Bloom competition and have published and distributed our own visitor guide.

At our large events like the amazing Festival of Light event this Christmas, it’s been really satisfying to be approached by people from outside the area, telling us how impressed they are with the new Blackburn. Fundamentally that’s what our job has been about – changing perceptions, and driving footfall.

Helen Jackson, from Cummings Mellor, new occupants in One Cathedral Square described the Blackburn BID’s social media as being ‘omnipresent’.  She’s got a point, as we have the largest BID social media following in the North West.

Looking forward, our big challenge this year is to make sure that the BID is voted back for another 5 year term and to make sure that the good work that we have contributed to the town’s success is not lost.

Over the coming weeks and months I’ll be out and about talking to businesses and stakeholders to find out what they want to see the BID deliver in a new business plan for 2019-2024 with  £1.5million investment.

Our weekly meetings start later this month and the dates are published and promoted online.  For those who can’t make the Tuesday sessions at 11am – the new Blackburn BID website has new facilities for businesses to log in to take part in our discussions.  If you are a BID member, paying an annual levy, you can sign up here.

Thank you for your support and here’s to happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2018.

Harriet Roberts
Blackburn BID Manager

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