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.
Working with Stakeholders
The BID has worked with the Council, property agents and landlords to attract businesses to Blackburn town centre. As part of the BID website development, a comprehensive register of vacant properties in the town centre was launched. Businesses in the levy area have been provided with free PR via local media and the BID website. The BID will continue to work with the Local Authority and stakeholders to promote the town as a great place to do business.
Over the next couple of years, the BID plans to maintain and deliver the following activity to support and attract businesses:
- Under ‘Attract and Support’ the BID is working with a film maker to capture and retain library film footage of the town centre for use by the BID and partners in digital marketing promotions. This includes coverage of each event. Films already produced can be viewed on the BID’s YouTube channel.
- To continue recognising good customer service, product knowledge, pleasurable experiences and excellence amongst the business community through the Be Surprised Award Scheme.
- The Blackburn BID installed 38 footfall monitors in 2014 to count the number of visitors to the town. These are sited throughout the BID area and complement the footfall monitoring undertaken by The Mall. The monitors have been used to provide accurate updates on how the work of the BID is improving footfall in Blackburn.
- To extend the dwell time for shoppers into the early evening by organising a series of events to support a case for an evening economy. The BID’s events focus on increasing footfall at various locations across the town centre.
- To continue working alongside the Healthy High Streets group to raise levels of pride and engagement, increasing footfall and targeting empty properties on the high street.
- To maintain the ‘Walk the Walk’ programme which includes guided tours of the town’s facilities including Blackburn College Campus, Blackburn Cathedral, Blackburn Library and Blackburn Museum.
- To continue monitoring vacancy rates in Blackburn town centre.