Blackburn businesses are being given the opportunity to have their say about how major changes in the town centre could bring an increase in customers. The team behind the Blackburn BID (Business Investment District) are running a series of breakfast networking events aimed at answering the big questions that matter to the future of the town centre including what’s happening with the bus station, why our heritage seems to be being eroded and what are we doing about filling empty shops.
In November last year, businesses voted ‘yes’ to a 1 per cent levy in addition to their rate charges which will generate a pot of £1.5 million investment to help regenerate the town. Mark Smith of Exchange Coffee and Fresh Approach In, who is chairing the steering committee explained that when traders receive their levy in a few weeks’ time they may well have serious questions about what they are getting for their money.
He said, ‘We’re inviting traders to find out more about how the Blackburn BID is generating finance, delivering expertise and creating partnerships which will generate new visitors and more business opportunities. So that they can find out what’s going on, we’ve arranged a programme of fortnightly networking events for you to share BID Ideas over a free breakfast, with invited members of the press and other guests, members of the council, experts and speakers.’
The events start on Thursday 13 February and run fortnightly at Liz ‘n’ Lil’s on Northgate, previously the Grapes Pub. Breakfast will be served from 7.30am at each event, with a 20 minute presentation at 8am. Any business people with an interest in improving Blackburn are invited to stay for an hour or just pop in and say ‘hello’ before the working day begins.