Blackburn town centre businesses are being urged to vote ‘YES’ for a new term for Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID).
The Blackburn BID comes to the end of its first five-year term at the end of 2018 and voting papers for a new term to run from 2019 are currently being delivered to around 350 town centre businesses.
The Blackburn BID, which is funded directly by town centre businesses, has delivered a diverse range of projects for the town over the last five years from award winning events to improvements to the safety and security of the town centre.
Events and Marketing
Blackburn BID has been at the forefront of creating and delivering innovative events in Blackburn. Visitors from across the region have enjoyed events such as Blackburn Heritage Festival, Countryside Comes to Town and The Blackburn Vintage Carnival. The BID has delivered over 25 events and campaigns and supported key events such as The Blackburn Cathedral Flower Festival and The National Festival of Making.
Last year saw a Blackburn Magazine delivered to thousands of addresses across Lancashire and this year an exciting Christmas programme of events is planned to include a four-week Christmas Market.
Safety and Security
The BID is conscious that being safe when you visit Blackburn is very important and over the last five years have funded town centre PCSOs, installed new CCTV cameras as well as joined up the town’s cameras. Support for Blackburn Business Against Crime and radios for retailers has also been funded by the BID.
Cleaner & Greener
Visitors could not fail to have noticed the spectacular floral displays in Blackburn and these have been as a direct result of a partnership between the BID and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. The town has been the proud recipient of national and regional gold medals from the RHS Britain in Bloom Campaign.
In 2016, Blackburn was named Great British High Street of the Year in a national competition that saw Blackburn beat over 900 entries. The judges praised the positive partnerships between the BID, the Council, Blackburn College and The Mall in forging great strides towards making Blackburn Town Centre a better place to do business.
These are just a few examples of the initiatives that the BID has made possible and businesses are being urged to read the full Business Plan for 2019 – 2023 which outlines more of these achievements as well as laying out plans for five more years of investment. Businesses are reminded that without a majority ‘YES’ vote the BID and all their initiatives will end.
Nicola Clayton, Chair of Blackburn BID, said, “We are urging every business in the town centre to vote ‘YES’ for a new term for the BID. Blackburn BID has demonstrated that we can make a positive impact on our town centre and without the BID our vibrant programme of events and marketing, safety initiatives and environmental improvements will end. A ‘YES’ vote will ensure we can continue the work on behalf of the town centre businesses.”
Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council said, “All the major town centre stakeholders pulling together has been a key component in winning awards like the Great British High Street and in the ongoing regeneration of Blackburn town centre and the Blackburn BID has played a vital role in bringing local businesses together to take part in that work. It is vital that the BID receives a strong ‘YES’ vote in this month’s election so that this sense of positivity can continue and grow.”
Loraine Jones, General Manager of The Mall Blackburn, added, “As General Manager of The Mall, we have worked in partnership with the BID over the last five years on a range of successful initiatives including events, marketing, security and, of course, Christmas. We are supporting the renewal of the BID, as we need to continue to make Blackburn a more attractive and safer place for people to visit and continue to change perceptions to a wider audience.”
The voting process has now begun and businesses, who are eligible to vote, will receive ballot papers by post. The election is conducted by Electoral Reform Services. Businesses have until the 2nd November 2018 to return their ballot papers and the result will be announced in early November.