What is a Business Improvement District?
Simply put, Business Improvement Districts Scotland helps to build stronger businesses and stronger communities. There are 36 existing Business Improvement Districts (BID) in Scotland; Largs to Lerwick, Kirkwall to Kirkcaldy BID gives businesses across Scotland a stronger voice and helps to drive regeneration. The benefits of being part of a BID are straightforward; by working together in partnership businesses can reduce costs, share risks, create new platforms for growth and contribute to the wider regeneration aspirations of the local community.
What could that mean for Selkirk?
There are two proposed BID areas in Selkirk; the Town Centre and Riverside. They are being managed as two separate BID projects as the challenges and opportunities for each area are quite different. The beauty of BID is that each Improvement District sets its own business plan based on the agreed aims and obectives of the businesses operating in the zone. The businesses in each District set the agenda and work to bring improvements that matter.
The best way to illustrate this is with some examples. Take Edinburgh West End. As one strand of their business plan, businesses there have joined forces in a marketing campaign targeted at increasing footfall to the area. They developed a website, and established their Meet The #WestEnder Social Media campaign, allowing businesses to showcase themselves. There have been successes in both increasing footfall and encouraging visitors to stay longer and explore the shops, cafes and restaurants in the Business District.
As a more practical example, Carluke identified Shop Front Improvements as one of their BID projects, they recognised that visible improvement to the exterior of business premises was needed to bring about a positive change in attitude and perceptions and by extension increase footfall. The BID now run a Property Improvement Grant Scheme to assist businesses in upgrading. Alongside this they run a range of events and activities all designed to attract custom to the Carluke Business Improvement District.
ClacksFirst Limited was one of the first BIDs in Scotland, formed in 2008 and representing a Business Park area similar to Riverside, the BID has successfully delivered a range of activities. Working together as a BID, they have improved accessibility and security; negotiated huge resource efficiencies and through these improvements attracted inward investment directly impacting the local economy. Businesses benefited so much from being part of a BID that they recently voted for a second 5 year BID period.
These examples are just a taster of how being a BID can help both the District as a whole and individual businesses achieve. And remember, the power to decide what’s on the agenda sits firmly in the hands of the business members.
Who are Selkirk Means Business?
Selkirk Means Business is the Selkirk BIDs Steering Group This is made up of people who are active business leaders in the town centre and at Selkirk Riverside Business Park, the two BID areas for Selkirk.
What happens next?
To secure BID status the local business community has to vote in favour of the establishment of a BID which ensures that every business is engaged in the process. For Selkirk there will be two ballots; The Town Centre and Riverside.
Before the ballot can take place Selkirk Means Business needs to consult with businesses in both BID areas. This is a follow-up to the consultation that has already taken place with Town Centre businesses, for Riverside it will be the first consultation.
We will stay in touch with businesses and the Selkirk community via our website, our Facebook page, Twitter and an e-newsletter.
Want to find out more?
If you want to find out more about BIDs or the Selkirk Means Business Steering Group then contact our Project Manager, Mags Fenner on 07939 589740.