Leading local figures support the drive for the town to win Business Improvement District (BID) status, to provide one voice for local businesses
A number of key figures have come out in support of a campaign to bring in additional investment for improvements to Huddersfield.
They include representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Huddersfield Civic Society, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Media Centre and many more.
With 270 UK towns, cities and regions already successfully operating under BID status – including Halifax, Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield – the local business community is determined that Huddersfield shouldn’t get left behind. The business-led initiative, launched by the Huddersfield Partnership, has also secured the full support of Kirklees Council and the University.
The BID system provides one voice for local businesses. It gives back ownership of the town to its people, who can direct how investment in improvements is spent, unlike business rates. BIDs have been supported nationwide by business owners, major retailers and restaurant chains with outlets in Huddersfield, such as Marks & Spencer, Boots, Wilko, Wetherspoons and McDonald’s and many others.
A Feasibility Study completed last year highlighted some of the areas of concern to local business that could potentially be addressed by BID money. These include improving access and smartening up the appearance of the town, addressing crime and safety issues, and promoting the town in a positive and co-ordinated way through events and marketing.
Steven Leigh, Head of Policy and Representation at the Chamber of Commerce, said: “The aim is to make Huddersfield a better place to visit, shop, relax, work and live. An improved town centre means a better trading environment and more prosperity for our town, our businesses and our residents.”
David Wyles, Chair of Huddersfield Civic Society, said: “The society has major concerns regarding the current vitality and image of the town centre. It fully endorses the concept of the BID and its outline proposals and hopes it will gain the support of local businesses, residents and the Council.”
Barney Mynott, Development Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “There are some great small independent traders in Huddersfield. Getting a BID for the town would help attract more people into the town and into these shops. This will ensure Huddersfield remains vibrant and lively, and that is what everybody wants.”
Brent Woods, Chief Executive of The Media Centre, said: “I’m excited to see the development of a BID for Huddersfield. It has the potential to be a responsive source of funding and support for the needs of the local business community and help to make our town centre safer, more vibrant and attractive to new investment.”
Councillor Julie Stewart-Turner said: “I am supporting the BID as I think it is an exciting opportunity for Huddersfield, which will provide benefits for everyone. BID is a vehicle to bring together everyone who has an interest in the town centre, to enable them to work together constructively, and provide a bright, sustainable future for our town.”
Bringing in additional money for Huddersfield
Vernon O’Reilly, Centre Manager of the Piazza Centre and Chairman of The Huddersfield Partnership, is delighted to see such strong support for BID status from local businesses and organisations.
“BID gives back ownership of the town to those investing in it,” said Vernon. “Importantly, it does not involve taking money from existing Council services but instead provides additional money and services for the town. The funds raised are expected to bring in a substantial return for local businesses through improvements to the town centre. The transformation will also benefit local people and encourage visitors, footfall and spend.This money is ring fenced for BID objectives.Those objectives would have been compiled and voted upon by the businesses themselves. and funds raised would be used in addition to any moneys already planned by normal, ongoing council investment.”
“There is much work to do to ensure that all businesses and organisations within the BID area have the opportunity to shape the BID proposal and business plan, including surveys, workshops and personal interviews,” he continued. “Surveys are currently being circulated, with around 100 already completed and BID Consultants are conducting Face-to-Face interviews with Business owners and Managers in the proposed BID zone.”
If you are a business owner in the BID Zone, pay business rates and have not yet been contacted or have any queries regarding the Huddersfield BID or wish to get involved in helping the BID project please contact us on: -
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or a visit.
Help BID make our great town greater and be part of the solution.