Business appetite for BIDs feasibility
Published by Simon Gwynn on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:11
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce members will be encouraged to contribute their thoughts on a new city centre Business Improvement District (BID) proposal.
City council leader Gordon Matheson unveiled plans to consult with local businesses on a new BID proposal for Glasgow, and your Chamber considers your opinions vital to the process.
Mr Matheson announced the plans for the proposal following the recent State of the City Economy Conference, organised by the Glasgow Economic Partnership.
The consultation will be introduced to explore whether there is business appetite for a BID, and if this is primarily retail-focused or incorporates the night time economy.
It will also explore whether the full Style Mile area should be included. The Style Mile currently covers Argyle Street, Buchanan Street, Queen Street and Sauchiehall Street.
If the BID gets the backing of the business community, it would allow Glasgow to access funding in order to consolidate and develop the city centre's position.
Councillor Matheson said: "This is the next step for Glasgow's wonderful shopping district. We have to consolidate the excellent work already being done through the voluntary Style Mile partnership.
"With times being hard, we have to look to how we can continue to grow and regenerate our city centre so that it can retain its position as the best UK shopping area outside of London.
"I want to hear what our city centre business community has to say and therefore I will be launching a consultation on a new Business Improvement District in the city centre.
"I believe it is vital way reinvest business rates locally to improve the local environment. We will hold a referendum with businesses in the city centre to gauge support and I'll champion this initiative.
"Glasgow contributes a great deal more to the Scottish economy through business rates than it gets back and I'm committed to fighting for this money to remain in the city."
A proposed BID including Argyle Street, Buchanan Street, Queen Street and Sauchiehall Street was launched in May 2008, but was unsuccessful due to concerns over extra levies as the recession took hold. Following this, the city's successful Style Mile was established.
Over the last two and a half years, the Style Mile partnership has helped to support the potential of the city centre during the current economic downturn and assisted it to retain its position as the top UK retail destination outside London.
Gaining BID status would see retailers and business pay a BID levy to be reinvested in the Style Mile boundary. It would also allow the city centre to take the next step to dramatically transform the opportunities and environment for everyone working and living in the area.
A BID is a defined geographical area of a town, city or commercial district, where businesses have voted to invest collectively in local improvements in addition to those delivered by statutory authorities.
It is the view of both Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow Economic Commission that it is vital to attract private sector investment to the city centre in order to maintain and enhance the area for the benefits of businesses and the city's people, workers, shoppers and visitors.
Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said ahead of the new BID consultation proposal: "We are very happy to work with leisure operators and retailers to join in this exercise if there is an appetite for another look at what needs to be done."
The Chamber is extremely interested in hearing from you and plans are already afoot to gather the opinions of the city's business community following the festive period - the busiest time of year for many of our members.
Those members who wish to contribute their thoughts now can do so by contacting us at:
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
30 George Square
Glasgow G2 1EQ
Tel: 0141 204 2121
Fax: 0141 221 2336