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Milestone Anniversary For St Peter’s Quarter

  • Date: 31/08/2012
  • Category: General

Derby’s latest business improvement district, now branded as the St Peter’s Quarter, celebrates its first anniversary next month (September) with a string of successes already under its belt.

Last summer, local businesses votes to support the launch of the BID – paving the way for work to start on a five-year plan of initiatives to improve the area.

Since then, working groups made up of representatives of local businesses and partner agencies have been meeting to drive forward activities under the three key initiatives of promoting the area, improving the experience for visitors and supporting business growth and investment – overseen by a Board of local business people.

The approaching milestone has been marked this summer with a busy programme of entertainment on the streets to attract more people into the area and encourage them to stay longer. 

This programme will culminate with Maison Foo’s curious Alien Tourists landing in local streets on Saturday September 15 and the Inde Theatre Network performing in the area on Saturday September 22 – the first time that the St Peters Quarter has been involved in Derby Festé.

Key activity over the past year has included:

–          The launch of a Ranger team to welcome the public to area, support the businesses with face to face contact and work closely with such organisations as Derbyshire police and Street Pride

–          Developing a new website www.stpetersquarter.co.uk which includes information about all the businesses in the area, events and promotions

–          Marketing activity including establishing the St Peter’s Quarter brand and the development of the area’s first mini guide and specially commissioned photography

–          Investment in high profile advertising such as banners on key entrances to the area and advertising on buses travelling along major routes around the city to raise the profile and name awareness of the area

–          The first phase of improved Christmas street lights

–          Improvements to the street scene ranging from murals on derelict buildings and sites in Macklin Street and Gower Street to shop front improvements in partnership with apprentice trainees at Rathbone youth charity in St Peters Churchyard

–          Organising events and street entertainment including walking tours of the area with local historian Richard Felix

–          Bringing together local businesses for the area’s first networking event

–          Increased involvement in key city initiatives including a city centre bid for Mary Portas programme funding, the Olympic Torch Relay

–          Success in bidding for additional funds including £50,000 from Derby City Council to improve the public realm

–          Supporting businesses with key issues such as security with distribution of free note checking equipment

BID Chair Stephen Jeffery said: “Although a great deal has been achieved in our first year – there is obviously still a great deal more to do and the momentum is certainly building.

“We were adamant that the Business Plan which was put to the vote last summer was not a document of ‘blue sky’ dreams but a set of actions that would make the greatest positive impact on the area as a whole and on the widest number of businesses.

“It is particularly inspiring to see how many businesses, large and small and ranging from retail to professional firms, have embraced this opportunity to work together and have given their time to the BID for the benefit of the area as a whole and their businesses as part of this initiative.”

Stephen continued that key priorities for the coming year would be to attract more investment including new businesses and project funding; supporting the existing businesses to continue to thrive in this area with such initiatives an area-wide customer loyalty scheme; and further improving the public realm to give people more reasons to visit the area.

He said: “We have seen several new businesses – both independent and national names – arriving in the St Peter’s Quarter over the past year which is good news considering the continued tough economic climate and particularly the impact that this has had on the High Street.

“Many of these businesses have said that they were encouraged to close the deal on new premises because of the existence of the BID and the demonstrated commitment in the area to improve the profile and visitor experience from which they would naturally benefit.

“We are also looking at harnessing the latest technology to develop a customer loyalty scheme across local retailers and to work with partners to bring the area back to its former glory and embracing modern developments and improvements with the heritage, architecture and individuality of the area.

“With this first anniversary under our belts and our success in establishing the St Peter’s Quarter brand, launching key initiatives and embedding a structure for delivering the BID embedded – we are looking forward to the challenges ahead to ensure that this area fulfils its potential as the city centre’s commercial core.”

Ends

Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945 665; sarah@jjpublicrelations.co.uk

 Note to editors

The St Peter’s Quarter BID area is the commercial core of the city between Westfield and the Cathedral Quarter stretching from the river in the east (including Riverlights) to Green Lane and Macklin Street in the west and the junction of Osmaston Rd and Bradshaw Way in the south.

The St Peter’s Quarter primary aim is to develop the area as a nation by providing an alternative and complementary shopping, leisure and commercial area to Westfield and the Cathedral Quarter. 

 Activities will be focused under three project areas – promotion, improving the visitor experience and business growth and investment.

 Business Improvement Districts are part of the national long-term strategy to encourage partnership working between a Local Authority and the business community.  A BID is a defined area within which rate-paying businesses decide on new improvements to help transform their area – and then vote to agree the investment.  This money is ring-fenced to provide the improvements agreed through the BID strategy.

 The plan voted for as a lifespan of five years and further proposals have to be reaffirmed through a vote.

There are now 130 BIDs across the UK which have generated a over £170 million of additional investment into geographically defined areas.

 There are two criteria which have to be achieved for the vote to be successful: more than 50% of the number of businesses who vote have to say yes and more than 50% of the rateable value of the businesses who vote have to say yes.


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