The Bradford BID Development Group is delighted to announce the launch of a major consultation with local businesses on the possible creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) in the city centre, beginning with a meeting to which an initial number of key stakeholders and businesses are invited.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 20 July and will explain the consultation process, which will see all city centre businesses being invited to take part in a survey to assess their appetite for the introduction of a plan of major projects aimed at improving business performance in Bradford.

Throughout the consultation period businesses will be asked to identify the priority projects that they consider would boost trade and to outline whether they would support the creation of a BID as the vehicle to achieve this, which would require them to vote to pay a small additional sum on their annual business rates.

BIDs are considered to be the leading model of management and development of town and city centres, with over 270 currently operating across the United Kingdom and it is anticipated that a Bradford BID could generate over £500,000 per year to promote and add to the vitality of the city, thus increasing footfall and vibrancy across the city centre area.

The survey will begin in July and run until November, with businesses having the opportunity to participate either online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BradfordBID or via a written questionnaire, with the results of the survey forming part of an overall assessment of the feasibility of a BID in Bradford, which the BID Development Group will subsequently receive.

Ian Ward, General Manager of The Broadway and Chair of the Bradford BID Development Group, said, “In these times of tough competition it’s vitally important for Bradford to maintain and strengthen its key position in the region. To do that via a BID, businesses need to set the goals and lead from the front, ensuring that the city is consistently cleaner, safer, more vibrant and better promoted to attract more footfall.”

Chris Gregory of Heartflood, who have been selected by the BID Development Group to support the consideration of a BID in Bradford, said, “The development of a BID in Bradford represents an enormous opportunity for city centre businesses, although we need to establish their willingness for such a project at every step of the way. We’re therefore initially urging as many businesses as possible to spare just 10 minutes to tell us what they think, via the survey.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation, said, “The income raised by a Bradford BID would be spent on the priorities set by Bradford businesses. It would be wholly on top of the core services provided by the Council. There are BIDs working well all over the country and a Bradford BID would undoubtedly benefit businesses and the city centre.”

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