Blachere Christmas Light Competition 2018 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED!!

                             Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter our                                Blachere Illumination  Christmas Light Competition 2018
The standard of entries was extremely high which made the decision very hard.
We are thrilled to announce the finalists who will be joining us in London on  18th July are: –


St Helens



Congratulations to all the finalists, we are looking forward to seeing you on 18th July at Fitzrovia in London where the winner will be announced

One lucky Place will be leaving with £10,000 worth of Christmas Lights, another with  £2000 worth of lights as second prize. Because we are in the Christmas spirit, no one will leave empty handed all runners up will come away with £1000 worth of Christmas Lights!  

Our finalists are already very excited……

‘What fabulous news for a Friday afternoon (or any day really). Thank you so much for letting us know and we look forward to seeing you on 18th July’

‘Thank you, so excited!’

‘That’s fabulous news! It really made my Monday coming in to your email’

‘Thank you for this excellent news – I’m writing to let you know that we can attend’

A big thank you to the Fitzrovia Partnership BID for providing a fantastic venue.


Checkout last years winners here 

The Perfect Partnership for Places

Institute of Place Management and Revive & Thrive  working together for UK Places

Revive and Thrive is proud to announce that it is now a Partner of the Institute of Place Management (IPM), which is the professional body for the place management sector. Both organisations have committed to work together and make it easier for place managers to get the information and support they need to do their job.Institute of Place Management and Revive & Thrive unite for all UK places

The agreement will enable more Revive and Thrive events to be recognised as valuable learning opportunities for delegates, through IPM’s Continuing Professional Development accreditation process. In addition, more insight and knowledge developed by the world-leading researchers in IPM will now be shared through the Revive and Thrive community.

Professor Cathy Parker, Chair of the Institute of Place Management said, “We have been very impressed with the Revive and Thrive team, their events as well as Place Magazine so we are really pleased to have the opportunity to work more closely together”.

MD and Founder of Revive & Thrive, Mark Barnes, said “The two organisations complement each other extremely well and will offer a huge amount of value to their respective networks.”

He added, “We have a shared ethos of supporting places of all sizes and offering accessible information to place managers, councils and community activists to enable them to bring about the changes they want in the places that they care about.”

This new collaboration melds together perfectly.  IPM’s academic approach, research and training fit together with Revive & Thrive’s solution-focused approach to inspiring and sharing best practice, thus ensuring that advice, mentoring and information is readily available to all places.

With networks extending from academia and the country’s largest BIDs to elected councillors, volunteers and businesses on the high street, the future for place management and our nation’s towns, cities, villages and high streets looks as promising as it has for a long time.

It’s the invisible network that secures the future of your place

Invisible Networks and How to Use Them in Your Place

Places are defined by the physical network of buildings and roads that they cover. So it is relatively easy to map the physical area a place occupies from individual streets to an area on an ordnance survey map.  Surveys of shoppers and Invisible networks article features in Place Magazineworkers can also be used to map out the hinterland of a place which can be transferred to a map showing the retail catchment area or the travel to work area.

These visible networks are useful tools to use to compare your place with others and over a period of time can act as barometers to the vibrancy of your place. The networks that drive the changes in the physical networks are harder to capture.  Our places have input from both the public and private sector, some of these networks are well defined and easily captured, others are more difficult and probably more vital to your places future.

Invisible network author Keith Jackson is a monthly contributor to Place Magazine
Keith Jackson is a monthly contributor to Place Magazine

Part of my previous work at CRED in the University of Cumbria highlighted the invisible networks across the public sector that ensured business compliance of national regulations at a local level. These networks interacted with various trade bodies to encourage where possible that these networks delivered elements of business support as well as regulation compliance.  IFLAS, another body within Cumbria examines the invisible networks across the public and private sectors that make up a place and then looks at how these can be led.

Our own recent experience (as Thomas Jardine & co) in renovating a city centre building to house a co-working space highlighted how you can stumble across these incredibly vital invisible networks.  In our area at first glance the construction sector looks fairly visible with several large local, regional and national firms either developing housing sites or working on larger commercial projects. As a smaller developer, we were fortunate enough to work with a really good local architect who guided us through the necessary compliance of our project and who introduced us to an excellent local builder whose invisible network of contractors and suppliers seems to be able to tackle any contingency we come across.  We were also lucky to have a chance conversation with one of our son’s friends whose business is now redoing all of our electric and gas heating requirements.  This network of invisible local trade’s people is essential in maintaining the growth of our place and it should be no surprise that the good trades people tend to know each other and appear to prefer working on sites with people they know and trust.

Like all good local networks they tend to get on with it quietly with not too much noise hence they tend to be less visible than the larger national firms, this does not stop their ambition, one Advertise in Place Magazine each month at a very low rateof our local firms (Story) has gone from a one man band to a national player in one generation.

The invisible networks in your place are what creates the visible network.  This is just as true for the food network that supplies the local hospitality trade as it is for construction and I am sure you could think of other invisible networks.  So before you next decide to help change your visible networks in your place take a deep breath and check to see that you have included all the invisible networks in your plans as well.

How to improve the health of your high street

Five things you can do for your High Street

By Cathy Parker & Simon Quin, Institute of Place Management

Can you improve the health of your High Street? Newly published research suggests there are initiatives that can be effective but they require partnership and collaboration.  Town and City Centre - Institute of Place Management

Although some did better than others, many retailers posted disappointing figures for High Street sales over the Christmas period. There are many reasons for this, not least the growth in online retailing, but research by the Institute of Place Management shows that decline has been a long time in the making. The fundamental reason high streets are struggling is that decision make


rs and stakeholders are not adapting effectively because they don’t act collectively.

Stories about the high street are always featured each month in Place Magazine
Read more from IPM and BID Foundation in Place Magazine

The High Street UK 2020 research findings identified 201 things that can improve the vitality and viability of traditional retail areas. Not all are relevant everywhere and not all can be locally implemented. The 201 factors were assessed by leading experts as part of the research project and the five most important have been identified.

Top of the list of priorities is ensuring the trading and activity hours of the location meet the needs of the catchment. Many shops and services are stuck in a 9-5 trading pattern that does not reflect the time that many people want to use the centre, especially in places that have a high number of commuters living nearby.


The second area is improving the visual appearance. This can involve large projects like street improvements, better lighting and so on – but it also covers basic cleanliness. Unfortunately, too often, commercial waste and consumer litter or the poor maintenance of property act as a blight, undermining investment in the physical realm, and just putting people off.

The third priority is ensuring the mix of retailers and other services is providing the right offer. A bit like the first priority, a thorough understanding of who is and who is not using the town and why is key here. As individual landlords are free to let their properties to whoever

they please, managing the overall offer of a location is challenging. Much provision is complementary – a town may sustain a butcher, greengrocers, fishmonger and deli for example, but if any of these shut down, then it has consequences for the other shops as it is the linked trip behavior of the consumers that is keeping them all in business.

Having a shared vision and strategy for the location was the fourth priority we identified. This is the mechanism by which stakeholders can be encouraged to develop their business in line with an overall plan to improve the high street. A vision, strategy or plan is important for attracting investment from both the public and private sectors. Many town centres just do not seem to have a purpose now they are no longer the centres of retail they once were.

And in fifth place came the quality of the experience. Again, this relates to the collective offer of the location. A number of positive customer service interactions in retailers and service outlets can be wiped out immediately by a surly bus driver or a dark and foreboding multi-storey car park.

The actions that will improve footfall on the UK high streets have now been identified by our research, and you can access them with a more detailed explanation. They are available free of charge at Revive & Thrive supports the work of BID Foundation in our high streets Nevertheless, we do not underestimate the challenge ahead for individual locations wanting to change their prognosis. As collaboration is key to success then new governance and place management models are needed and this is one of the reasons the Institute is delighted to be working with BIDs from across the country through the new industry body


New industry body renews High Street optimism

Revive & Thrive is pleased to support BID Foundation

The BID Foundation launch is welcome news for the Business Improvement District industry

Revive & Thrive is very pleased to share the following announcement about the launch of the BID Foundation.

All involved in place management will know that national representation for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) has been in a state of flux for at least two years now.  Revive & Thrive is pleased that the BID Foundation will be addressing this.Success of BID Foundation is crucial for the Business Improvement District industry

Revive & Thrive and Place Magazine stands in a unique position in being open to BIDs and all towns or cities, irrespective of size, and all organisations representing place.  Its membership and subscriptions complements and does not conflict or compete with the aims of the BID Foundation.

All at Revive & Thrive and Place Magazine fully support the BID Foundation and offer full support in making this new organisation, built on strong foundations, a great success.

Revive & Thrive and Place Magazine offers its resources and networks to help in anyway to ensure BID Foundation success.

BID Foundation Press Release 17th January 2017

The BID Foundation has launched today (Wednesday 17th January) to meet challenges facing commercial districts up and down the country. Against a back-drop of ever-more difficult trading conditions and local government cuts, the new industry-led body will help Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) manage town and city centre retail, leisure, and other commercial areas more effectively.

The new membership organisation is an alliance of leading BIDs and the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, which has been appointed as its independent operator. The BID Foundation was set up in response to wide-scale consultation and is led by an elected council of 14 BID Chief Executives from across the country.

Commenting on the launch, Andrew Cooper, Chair of The BID Foundation and CEO of Leeds BID, said: “BIDs will now be able to work together more successfully to encourage change and investment in our town and city centres. We want BIDs to make an even more significant contribution locally and nationally and we need to engage more meaningfully with local and national governments and the wider business community to do that.”

The new industry body will provide strategic direction and practical support to BIDs. It will champion the revitalisation of the high street and commercial areas by raising standards, sharing knowledge and resources, and building a trusted and representative voice.

The BID concept started 15 years ago in the UK, with the operational priorities of making areas cleaner, safer and more attractive.  This remit has matured, meaning BIDs are increasingly working with local partners to influence the economic development of the areas they manage and address big issues such as rough sleeping. Now there are nearly 300 UK BIDs and around 25 new ones are being elected each year.  Annually, BIDs contribute a total £110 million investment to UK towns and cities. 

Stefan Gurney, Vice Chair of The BID Foundation and Executive Director of Norwich BID, said: “It is great to be at the forefront of setting the vision and strategy for the future direction of the BIDs industry. The BID Foundation has been developed by the BID community and we aim to represent the industry with a clear, collaborative voice.”

The Institute of Place Management will provide specialist support and Revive & Thrive wishes the BID Foundation the best of luckaccreditation to members of The BID Foundation to ensure consistent high standards of operation, accountability, and transparency. BIDs will also draw on innovation and research insights from the Institute to inform their future business plans.

According to recent research from the Institute, the fundamental reason many commercial areas are struggling, is that decision makers and stakeholders do not adapt effectively to ongoing changes because they do not act collectively. BIDs provide this essential collaborative approach because they are business-led partnerships where retailers and other services pay an additional levy to fund a collective business plan aimed at improving a specific area.

Chair of the Institute of Place Management, Professor Cathy Parker, said: “We know how important BIDs are and The BID Foundation offers a way to increase both the local impact of each BID involved and further develop the model as a trusted form of urban management.”

The BID Foundation is open to membership from any operating BID. More details are available at


The BID Foundation

The BID Foundation is the new industry-led body for Business Improvement Districts created in response to wide-scale consultation. The BID Foundation is an alliance of leading BIDs and the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. The BID Foundation has been created to elevate standards, lobby and provide practical support to those within the Business Improvement District industry.

A council of BID senior practitioners govern The BID Foundation.  Nominations for council election were held in 2017 and 14 BID CEOs have been elected to serve by their peers.


Contact: Andrew Cooper (Chair of The BID Foundation and CEO of Leeds BID)