BID Update #4

BID Update #4

Newsletter 4

Following the recent request for businesses to outline their preferred improvement projects for Christchurch, we are now testing the priority projects identified by businesses and have worked up a series of more specific activities which would sit within the BID Business Plan.

Following a great deal of previous consultation, we are deliberately investing much more time and energy into detailed research on what businesses want and in encouraging your feedback. We would therefore urge you to take the time to review the following projects and to get in touch if either of the following apply:
1 If you consider that there are proposals currently listed which would not significantly benefit Christchurch town centre and should therefore be removed
2 If you consider that there are projects not currently listed which would bring significant benefit to Christchurch and should therefore be added

Introduce a number of new and ongoing measures to improve the appearance of the town centre, so creating a much more attractive place to visit. To include:
• Lobbying for reductions in car parking charges during key periods and working to introduce systems for businesses to subsidise customer parking costs
• Introducing window vinyls and other measures to improve the appearance of any long-term vacant units, whilst also working to provide temporary and permanent uses for them
• Working with local and regional partners to encourage the creation of additional visitor car parking capacity
• Creating a Christchurch in Bloom initiative and funding the introduction of new floral and landscaping features throughout the town
• Work with partners to deliver the project to refurbish the blue town centre heritage plaques
• Organising and funding regular additional street washing and chewing gum removal across the town centre
• Introducing improved town centre Wi-Fi
• Working with partners to ensure and fund improvements to the appearance and maintenance of paving & street furniture in key town centre areas.

Ensure that new events & street entertainment are developed specifically for the town centre and that businesses benefit more from existing events. To include:
• Developing at least one more major event or festival and ensure that this creates links between the main areas of the town, so creating impact for the entire town centre
• Creating a programme of smaller-scale events & street entertainment throughout the year, with a focus on the Christmas period
• Working with local partners to ensure that town centre businesses capitalise more on the existing events which take place within the town
• Helping to attract a wider and more varied range of stalls to the existing street markets
• Establishing a series of trails to ensure that visitors are encouraged to explore all areas of the town centre, so spreading footfall more evenly across the town
• Ensuring that promotional activities focus on attracting more visitors to Christchurch events

Develop a compelling & co-ordinated strategy to take the marketing & promotion of the town to the next level. To include:
• Organising key promotions around the key strengths of Christchurch, particularly focusing on our town centre businesses
• Creating specific campaigns to increase footfall during currently quieter trading periods and target areas where we consider that we can generate more incoming visitors
• Establishing and co-ordinating strong social media campaigns to promote the town
• Projects with local, regional & national partners to pool ideas & resources and to avoid conflict or duplication
• Creating a focused Christchurch brand to underpin varied marketing & promotions
• Building a library of quality photos for our businesses and partner organisations to use to promote the town
• Organising a new town centre website
• Carrying out regular market research to establish how locals & visitors to the town think our image could be improved

Ensure that everything the BID does is designed to support and develop businesses in Christchurch and create a strong local business community. To include:
• Working with local and regional partners to encourage appropriate investment and development in the town centre
• Introducing a group purchasing system to save businesses money on the costs of energy, insurance, telecoms and waste disposal
• Producing and distributing regular updates to local businesses, to include information on the economic performance of the town
• Recruiting a BID Manager to professionally oversee the work of the BID to the highest possible standards
• Creating the very robust ability to champion and represent Christchurch business views
• Ensuring, wherever possible, that we recycle the local pound by selecting town centre businesses to support BID projects

The Christchurch BID Steering Group have recently decided that, as a result of the ongoing health & economic uncertainties, they will be pushing the planned BID ballot further into 2021. Whilst therefore a revised ballot date has not yet been set, it is very likely that the planned March ballot date will be delayed by a period of at least 3 months. We will, of course, keep all parties updated with further details.

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