Blackburn BID publishes its Annual Report and sets out plans for 2017
The Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID) has published its 2016 Annual Report which tells the incredible story with photographs showing how the town came together to win national acclaim as Town Centre of the Year and crowned overall winner in the Great British High Street Awards.
The report is being sent out to all levy paying businesses and looks back at the key areas of work in 2016, laying out its priorities for the year ahead.
These will include
- Utilising the £10k Great British High Street prize funding to stage regular pop up street fair events as a sustainable legacy to animate the town centre and support footfall in struggling areas.
- Developing digital strategies for marketing to meet the challenge of online shopping trends.
- Promoting the new Pub Watch radio service to support the growing efforts to regenerate a night time economy
- Providing targeted security to tackle low level seasonal anti-social behaviour incidents and deter shoplifting in areas such as Townsmoor at key times such as Christmas.
- Supporting the salaries of two PCSOs in the town centre
- Commissioning a new map of the town centre which can be utilised for visitor marketing collateral and administration of events etc.
- Showcasing new and existing food and beverage businesses and encouraging more restaurants and cafés and customers with regular pop-up street food and street fair offers in order to increase dwell time and customer spend.
- Developing a team of volunteer Blackburn Hosts to act as ambassadors at special events.
In her summary of the year’s work, Chair of Blackburn BID, Nicola Clayton of Blackburn College sets out “Another remarkable year of progress and achievements for the BID”.
She says, “Our success is built on collaboration and partnerships with local businesses, the managers of high street chains, and a diverse range of organisations including The Mall, Blackburn Market, Community CVS, Blackburn Cathedral and Blackburn College.”
Highlights of the work of the BID since its inception 3 years ago include:
- Funding two PCSOs and additional private security staff to target shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.
- Visioning, organising and marketing a calendar of big high profile multi-site partnership events and campaigns to drive footfall.
- A Blackburn with Darwen HIVE award for putting the buzz into the town centre. The BID were also finalists in the Lancashire Tourism awards for Countryside Comes to Town.
- Delivering ambitious marketing aspirations with more than 19.5K social media followers across Twitter & Facebook and over 300 pieces of local, regional and national media coverage worth hundreds of thousands in editorial value equivalent, for Blackburn.
- £25K additional annual planting and maintenance to supplement core landscaping provided by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, awarded a Gold in the North West Britain In Bloom awards.
- Investing in 40 smart new black rubbish bins to replace rusty grey unsightly waste receptacles.
- Using graphics and window vinyls to make empty properties more attractive and encouraging new occupancy.
- 160 solar powered Christmas trees to augment the town centre festive lighting programme.
- Attracting an additional £76K in 2016 from partnership funding and sponsorship.
- Staging a programme of street fairs and pop up markets to move traffic to areas with low footfall.
Copies of the BID Annual Report have been sent to all BID Levy Paying Members and will also be available at the BID AGM which will be held at the University Centre at Blackburn College on Tuesday 21 February 2107 at 4:30pm or can also be downloaded here
Those wishing to attend the BID AGM can register at the following website address: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/blackburn-business-improvement-district-bid-annual-general-meeting-tickets-31595544123