BID Leamington wants support from businesses to have third term to continue helping town

Pictured, left to right, are Stephanie Kerr (executive director, BID Leamington), Sarah Jones (manager, Royal Priors Shopping Centre), Sue Warburton (joint owner, Belvoir Sales and Lettings), Gary Newman (business relationship manager, Santander), Gurdip Chatha (owner, Esqu� Beauty), Alison Shaw (project manager, BID Leamington), and Matt Crooks (owner, Neal's Yard Remedies) with the BID Leamington Business Plan at House of Fraser.
Pictured, left to right, are Stephanie Kerr (executive director, BID Leamington), Sarah Jones (manager, Royal Priors Shopping Centre), Sue Warburton (joint owner, Belvoir Sales and Lettings), Gary Newman (business relationship manager, Santander), Gurdip Chatha (owner, Esqu� Beauty), Alison Shaw (project manager, BID Leamington), and Matt Crooks (owner, Neal's Yard Remedies) with the BID Leamington Business Plan at House of Fraser.

Businesses in Leamington are being encouraged to support the continuation of the business-led and controlled partnership dedicated to ‘improving’ the town for a third term.

Business Improvement District (BID) Leamington has put together a detailed plan focused on making the town attractive to visitors, customers and investors over the next five years.

The plan addresses key priorities identified in BID’s recent consultation of businesses which included attracting footfall, car parking, out-of-town and online competition, ensuring a strong retail economy and balancing a mix of outlets.

It also proposes to build on the BID’s strong digital representation of businesses which has so far attracted 20,000 followers, putting Leamington in the top two per cent of towns and cities using social media to boost business in 2017.

Businesses are being invited to attend an event at House of Fraser in the Parade on Wednesday February 7, when the plan will be officially launched.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington which represents almost 400 businesses, said: “The impact and influence of BID Leamington in the town centre over the last decade has been significant.

“The challenges facing our businesses are greater than ever before and so the value of the BID in representing their interests to secure a vibrant and successful town centre has never been more important.

“The next five years are going to be crucial. There are some wonderful opportunities to capitalise on but equally, there is a significant amount of development on the horizon, including the Covent Garden Car Park, which will greatly impact on businesses, their staff and customers.

“We have a lot to do and without the BID, businesses have a lot to lose.”

Businesses voted to establish the BID in 2008 and to renew it for a further five-year term in 2013.

All retail businesses and properties within a set boundary and with a rateable value of more than £15,000 pay an annual levy for the non-profit making organisation.

The investment from businesses has played a significant role in ensuring the prosperity of the town, which in the last five years has equated to £1.5 million.

BID Leamington has also generated a further £480,000 of additional income which has been invested back into the town centre.

It has also set itself apart as one of the most creative and innovative small BIDs in the UK, winning numerous national awards including for the Leamington Food and Drink Festival, Golden Ticket retail campaign, and community-funded garden created for the Chelsea Flower Show.

Matt Crooks, owner of Neal’s Yard Remedies, said: “Retail competition is getting stronger which means we must work harder than ever to stay where we are, so having the collective support, representation and investment that our BID provides is essential.

“This is an important time for us because our investment also contributes to the Christmas lights, floral decorations, Royal Leamington Spa website and more, and these will disappear without the BID as they deliver above and beyond what local authorities deliver.”

The 28-day postal ballot opens on Thursday March 1 and the result will be announced on Tuesday April 3.

For more information call 470634 or visit www.bidleamington.com