BID Update #3
Work on the development of a BID proposal for Christchurch was suspended in March, although has now resumed with an extended timescale to reflect the recent circumstances. During this time, the BID Steering Group remained active in both dealing with the impact of the crisis on their businesses and keeping fellow businesses aware of key updates. Members of the Steering Group also recently attended a number of site visits and meetings with BCP Council and economic partners to support the response for Christchurch.
THE BUSINESS SURVEY
Following the request earlier in the year for businesses to outline their preferred improvement projects for Christchurch, we received 85 survey responses and, as well as having presented the findings at three open events in March, are circulating this update to all town centre businesses. The survey indicated a high level of support for the BID concept, with 88% considering that the town would benefit somewhat, quite a lot or hugely from the additional spending a BID would bring and 67% indicating that their premises should fall within a BID boundary. The responses also allowed for detailed priority projects to be identified and these are as follows.
THE PRIORITY PROJECTS
The projects which the survey respondents wish to see enacted are as follows and are listed in priority order.
1 Car parking discounts
2 Improving the appearance of empty shops
3 Marketing & promotion to project the town to a far wider audience
4 Projects to encourage investment into Christchurch
5 Car parking arrangements to provide additional spaces
6 More major town centre events or festivals
7 Schemes to save businesses money on their overheads
8 Social Media campaigning
9 Increased floral planting or landscaping
10 New seasonal events, including more Christmas activities
11 Visitor website
12 Business to business communication
13 Street cleansing & washing, including chewing gum removal
14 Town Centre Wi-Fi for visitors
15 Physical improvements to paving, landscaping or street furniture
We will be refining the proposed BID projects based on further feedback from businesses over the coming weeks and will be pulling together all of the proposed improvements within a draft Business Plan which will be subject to further consultation. Please therefore get in touch if you think that anything is missing from this initial list of projects.
A REMINDER OF WHEN THIS IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN
The revised proposals are for the vote to take place from 2nd March until 30th March 2021, with the BID being operational by July 2021, subject to a positive business vote.