Participation was the headline message to businesses at a gathering of town centre stakeholders and levy payers who were brought together for the Blackburn BID AGM on Monday 22nd February at Blackburn College.
Chair, Nicola Clayton urged business managers to support some of the new initiatives, get involved in monthly working group meetings, share ideas and have their say.
Three new board members were nominated on to the BID Executive board including Paul Mason from Blackburn Community CVS on Railway Road, Ahmed Dassu, Petit Fashion on King William Street and Peter Hobkirk of Hobkirk, Darwen Street. They join a management group totalling fifteen including representatives from Santander, Boots, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Ainsworths, The Mall, Trevor Dawson, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackburn College, East Lancashire Deaf Society, Primark and Barclays Bank.
There was updates on the major events including Blackburn Cathedral Flower Festival, Countryside Comes to Town, the Festival of Making, Christmas events and the regeneration development projects happening across the town centre.
Guest speaker, Mike Evans from The Retail Group, presented his independent research and recommendations for the town, based on the consultation work he has been doing in Blackburn recently.
Initiatives unveiled for the year ahead include investing in planting works to brighten up the town centre and to continue supporting the employment of two Police Community Support Officers and one BID Ambassador.
The ‘Be Surprised Awards’ were also launched on the night. The Business in Community Healthy High Streets Team awarded two trophies for exceptional customer service and event organisation.
BID Manager, Harriet Roberts said, ‘The Blackburn BID is only as good as the businesses who get involved. This year we aim to encourage a wider participation from more of the businesses who are investing in the BID, and to respond to feedback, ideas and concerns raised by levy payers in order to continue to change perceptions and increase footfall right across the town centre.’