Bradford city centre needs to build and adapt to an exciting new vision that meets the changing needs of its visitors, its customers and its local community.
Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) says that goal is deeply embedded in the Business Plan it hopes to pursue if it wins a second five-year term next month.
Developing a more Vibrant Experience for everyone who uses the city centre, encouraging more people to spend time there and supporting custom and trade, is one of three key objectives for the BID, along with creating A Positive Environment and making it Better for Business.
James Paynter, Deputy Chair of Bradford BID and Retail Area Manager of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “Town and city centres have undergone a huge sea change and they are continuing to evolve. But we know there is unlikely to be a return to streets lined purely with booming high street chain stores with giant footprints.
“We are still identifying and developing the ideal new kind of experience that will bring in footfall and meet the needs of a new generation – but the emphasis is moving from a predominantly retail offer to one that also combines more leisure and entertainment along with new experiences.
“We aim to organise and support exciting events and activities which draw people in and help build and showcase a wide, diverse and multi-layered cultural offering, including street entertainment, public art and arts trails, major events and festivals, street dressing and celebrations targeted at specific economic sectors.”
The BID’s first term as a limited not-for-profit company funded by a small levy on businesses and organisations will end later this year and it hopes a ballot launched on August 31 will secure its future to the end of 2028, allowing it to raise £2.5 million to spend on improvement schemes.
The Vibrant Experience strategies outlined in the Plan include:
Developing more major events or festivals.
Working directly with the City of Culture Team and partners to maximise opportunities in the lead up to, during and after 2025.
Providing recognition of the city as a destination for a safe night out via Purple Flag accreditation.
Organising social media campaigning to ensure the public are aware of activities taking place in the city centre.
Creating marketing and promotion around city centre activities and events, focusing on evening and night-time businesses.
Continuing to develop a dedicated support function for the evening and night-time economy, delivering accreditation schemes and bespoke training for staff.
The BID’s new ballot timetable
Legally, all BIDs need to be established via a ballot of eligible business and the vote is conducted entirely by post over a 28-day period. The votes will be sent to either the tenant of the business or the landlord (in the case of vacant units), within the BID boundary and Civica Election Services will be carrying out the voting process.
The key dates are:
August 31 – ballot papers issued
September 28 – Ballot Day, the last day by which votes must be received
September 29 – Results announced For the BID proposal to be successful, there are two requirements which must be met: A majority of those who vote must have voted in favour; and The total rateable values of the business properties who vote Yes must exceed that of those who voted No.