As we pass ten years of BIDs in Scotland it is fitting that Enterprising Bathgate, the very first BID in Scotland should recently have held its renewal ballot, achieving a successful renewal on the 23 August 2018.
This was Enterprising Bathgate’s third ballot, with a turnout of over 40% and 85.12% of the electorate voting in favour of a further term of five years.
Enterprising Bathgate was of course one of the original Pathfinder BIDs established by the Scottish Government in 2006, the others being Falkirk, then a town centre management company, Edinburgh, a city centre management company, Inverness, again a city centre management company, Glasgow, led by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Clackmannanshire which was a proposed 10 business park BID.
In many ways each of the Pathfinders was a first,
Inverness was the first BID to involve property owners and occupiers anywhere in the UK, the Scottish legislation allows for the inclusion of property owners and landlords.
Clackmannanshire, the first business park BID to involve 10 business parks and the first in the UK to include both property owners and occupiers.
Falkirk, the first town centre management company to convert to a BID.
Edinburgh the first city centre management company to convert to a BID and the first BID in the capital city.
Only Glasgow, The Style Mile BID was unsuccessful, but there were reasons.
Each of the successful BIDs completed their ballots in early 2008, but Glasgow needed to wait until November 2008, after the City of Glasgow Council had successfully secured their bid for the Commonwealth Games.
By October 2008 we had already seen Northern Rock collapse (September 2007) but no one foresaw what was to come in 2008. In September 2008 Lehman Brothers collapsed and the full blown banking crisis was impacting the global economies.
The Glasgow ballot was close though, with only 5 more ballots cast against the proposal than for the proposal.
Part Two – leading the way and the turning point.