Cathedral Quarter Businesses Confirm Future BID Plans
Businesses in the Cathedral Quarter have voted to renew the area’s status as a business improvement district.
There was a strong turnout for the vote (58% by rateable value) with 72.1% of the businesses and 68.9% of the aggregate rateable value voting in favour of the BID – giving a clear mandate to continue building upon the achievements of the first BID over the next five years from March 2013.
Under the BID, businesses will pay 1.75% of the rateable value of their premises with fixed bands for the smaller businesses. This will generate around £200,000 a year for the next five years which will be used to fund activity identified in the business plan.
Extensive research has been carried out by Cathedral Quarter project managers Partnerships for Better Businesses (pfbb uk) in preparation for the Cathedral Quarter five-year business plan. This has included participation by businesses in surveys, extensive one to one interviews and numerous workshops – specific to areas and sectors – and street surveys with the general public.
From this feedback, three key project areas of the Cathedral Quarter BID have emerged under the vision of ‘supporting and enabling all businesses to benefit from the Cathedral Quarter’s values for quality and as a place which is attractive and vibrant with a sense of community and a lifestyle which is individual, diverse and inspiring’.
Collective work over the next five years will focus on:
Providing a great lifestyle experience for visitors and people working in the area to enjoy by working with partners and other organisations to:
– tackle anti social behaviour
– develop more events in the streets and open spaces
– improve the parking experience
– re-focus the Ranger workload to support events and tackle anti social behaviour and crime
– support the development of physical improvements such as street furniture, creative lighting and restoration of buildings
– create a sense of belonging and community through loyalty schemes and business initiatives
Building awareness and promoting the strengths of the different Cathedral Quarter business sectors – retail and health and beauty, culture and leisure and professional services – by developing:
– awareness beyond the immediate catchment area
– commercial opportunities from CQ activities
– effective communications, events and initiatives between businesses
– PR, digital and social media channels
– sector specific work such as key trading period campaigns, networking and promotional events and developing greater integration and coordination of key events to support the daytime and night time culture and leisure offering in the area
Encouraging growth, development and investment of businesses which complement and build on the strengths of the Cathedral Quarter by working closely with partner organisations and other businesses to:
– encourage a coherent and appropriate use of properties and sites
– provide short term and interim solutions to improving the appearance of derelict sites and vacant properties
– support and encourage appropriate plans and proposals for new buildings, building refurbishments and public realm developments which target derelict sites
– provide support for businesses to access training for staff and schemes which promote excellence in customer care and business performance
– identify opportunities which contribute towards reduction of business overheads and monitor footfall, commercial performance and customer perceptions
James Blick, Board Chair, Cathedral Quarter Company and owner Finesse Collection, said: “We are delighted that businesses in the Cathedral Quarter have recognised the value of working together to promote and improve the trading environment for everyone in this area.
“Through working together we have already achieved a lot. However the economic challenges are greater now than they have ever been and we have a lot more work ahead of us.
“The business plan has been designed to ensure that it provides a clear framework of activity across all business sectors, and one which can be used to take advantage of new opportunities as they emerge from changes in lifestyles, the economy and developments of the Cathedral Quarter itself over the next five years.”
Martin Langsdale, Chair, Cathedral Quarter Management Group, and chartered surveyor, Raybould & Son added: “Businesses in the Cathedral Quarter have engaged enthusiastically in the consultation and planning for the next five years and we are grateful for the time that individuals have devoted – particularly to our project management company pfbb uk who have led this process.
“Everyone assumes that this part of the city centre has always been called the Cathedral Quarter, but the name Cathedral Quarter did not exist before the successful BID vote in October 2007. Since then it has become established as a name defining quality and an attractive environment with well established and respected businesses.
As a group of businesses in the Cathedral Quarter we have a great opportunity to build
“As a group of businesses in the Cathedral Quarter we now have the mandate to build upon the success we have already achieved, sharing the passion for this part of the city centre as a place to work with a special lifestyle and where businesses have a reputation for quality, value and service.
“Business confidence for the future in the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District in the area is strong. This plan provides us with a clear direction and a new exciting era in the Cathedral Quarter.”
Ian Ferguson, Director of BID project managers pfbb uk concluded: “There are more than 130 BIDs in operation across the UK and many of those have undergone renewal ballots. It is proven that, across the country, businesses situated with BIDS tend to be more resilient to the challenges posed by the current economic climate.
“A great deal of hard work has gone into consulting with businesses about what direction they would like the BID to go in over the next five years and we are delighted that so many people have engaged – showing that businesses have a real passion for this area and want to take positive actions that will benefit everyone in this vibrant part of the city centre.”
The Cathedral Quarter was originally established as a Business Improvement District under the auspices of a not for profit company in February 2008 and incorporates more than 400 businesses in the historical commercial part of Derby’s city centre. It covers the area from businesses bordering the inner ring road in the north to Victoria St and Albert St in the south, where it runs along the edge of the new St Peters Quarter BID. The boundary is defined in the east by the River and in the west by Friar Gate.
The company’s Board is made up of partners and local businesses to monitor the strategic direction of the BID. All businesses in the area are encouraged to join the management group and the working groups which are responsible for prioritising projects and monitoring project delivery across the strategic objectives.
Business representatives involved give their time free of charge and are a valuable resource for ideas, setting priorities and developing the activities.
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