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.

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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 streetshttp://www.placemanagement.org/jpmd-10-(4)/. 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 www.thebidfoundation.com

 

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 www.thebidfoundation.com

 

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.

Link: www.thebidfoundation.com

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

Email: andrew.cooper@leedsbid.co.uk

Nikki Rolls appointed to Mansfield BID chief executive role

Mansfield BID appoints new CEO

Highly-experienced town centre regeneration specialist Nikki Rolls has been appointed to head up Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID).

Revive & Thrive members Mansfield BID welcomes new CEONikki is the new chief executive at the BID, and brings with her a wealth of experience that includes stakeholder partnership development, community safety initiatives, delivering events, marketing strategies, and developing and delivering environmental and public realm improvements.

In particular, Nikki has a thorough understanding of regeneration schemes and how to bring them forward, working to resolve any issues that might be preventing delivery.

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She has worked on the regeneration of a number of strategic town centres within Walsall, setting up a number of town centre partnerships, and has secured vital investment in the continued development of strategies that result in the reduction in the number of vacant units. 

Nikki said: “The BID in Mansfield has been an extremely proactive organisation in the town centre, working with partners such as the local authorities and the businesses on a number of initiatives that have really made a difference.

“In fact, I have never come across a BID that does as much as Mansfield does for its levy payers. One of my first aims is to get the BID officially accredited for what it does. I am confident that this can happen and that the BID will become one of just 30 out of 205 across the UK to have this recognition.

She added: “My key role is to take the BID forward, using the foundation it has already built. I will be working on a strategic vision for the town centre, in particular the public realm areas (community spaces), attracting more national inward investment and the potential regeneration sites.”

Choose Revive & Thrive for your Business Improvement District Feasibility servicesNikki is one of just 45 BID managers to have worked towards, and gained, a certificate in BID management.

Mansfield BID chairman John Sankey said: “Nikki has a wealth of experience in working in town centre regeneration and promotion, and has a track record of getting results. She’s a logical thinker with a can do attitude, and that’s exactly what we need in Mansfield.”

Nikki has secured several prestigious national awards, including securing a Gold Britain in Bloom award for Aldridge competing against the whole of Britain, Association of Town Centre Managers 2016 Awards for Building a Sustainable Town Centre Community, and the Towns Alive West Zone Winners 2014 Impact Award. She also helped Bloxwich secure Gold in the Heart of England In Bloom competition. 

For more about the BID, based in Regent Street, Mansfield visit www.mansfieldbid.com.

More stories like this one from Mansfield BID can be found in Place Magazine each month

Budding photographers to showcase their talent this Christmas

CH1ChesterBID’s CheSTAR has returned to the city centre this year, and with it comes a photography competition where the lucky winner will bag £250 worth of vouchers

Subscribe to Place and read more stories like this in Place Magazine The dazzling CheSTAR is back in the city centre this Christmas and to celebrate its return, the city’s Business Improvement District, CH1ChesterBID, has launched a competition to find the best photograph of the giant sparkling star. 

Standing 25ft high and 25ft wide, the star is based in the grounds of Chester Cathedral on St Werburgh Street and will be lighting up Chester city centre this festive season as part of CH1ChesterBID’s annual Christmas celebrations. 

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The show-stopping decoration features almost 19,000 twinkling lights and made its debut in Chester last year, after being handcrafted especially for the city to add to the festive illuminations. 

To mark its return, between 16th November – 7th January, CH1ChesterBID is encouraging city visitors and local residents to snap their best photograph of the star and share it on Instagram or Twitter. The contest will be judged by the team at Camera Solutions on Frodsham Street and is open for anyone to enter. 

The chosen winner will take home £250 of vouchers to use at Camera Solutions in Chester. 

Judy Tagell, marketing manager at CH1ChesterBID, said: “We’re thrilled to see the CheSTAR make its stunning return to the city centre this year. It’s an eye-catching addition to our Christmas activities and we’re really excited to launch our new photography competition alongside it. The competition is open to photographers of all abilities so we’re really excited to see all the creative angles people will capture images of the CheSTAR from.” 

Choose Revive & Thrive for your Business Improvement District Feasibility servicesTo enter, simply take a picture of the CheSTAR and post it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #CheSTAR and tag @CH1Chester on Twitter or @CH1ChesterBID on Instagram. Alternatively, entrants can also email their photograph to competitions@ch1chesterbid.co.uk. 

Ray Fisher, owner of Camera Solutions, said: “We’re really excited to be working with CH1ChesterBID on a Christmas photography competition this year and we can’t wait to see all the entries. We’re looking for something unique for our winning shot, so we’d encourage people to be bold and creative with their photographs and come up with something that really stands out from the crowd.” 

The winner will be announced by CH1ChesterBID on 19th January 2018. 

For more information about CH1ChesterBID’s Christmas activities, visit www.experiencechester.co.uk

More stories like this one from Chester can be found in Place Magazine each month

Deadpool and Krampus Came to Metropole’s Christmas Candyland

Bournemouth is featuered in December's Place Magazine

On Sunday 17th December 2017, Bournemouth’s Metropole Market returned to Holdenhurst Road with a range of alternative festive entertainment.

 

Christmas in town centresThe Bournemouth Metropole Market brought a truly weird and wonderful Christmas market experience to Holdenhurst Road. On Sunday 17th December, the fourth in a series of popular street markets took over Lansdowne and will feature, food and drinks stalls, alongside local wares and craft stands. Presenting a Christmas Candyland theme, organisers of the market have now unveiled an eclectic range of entertainment and music for their final event of the year. Visitors, children and locals can look forward to appearances from everyone’s favourite anti-hero Deadpool and traditional folklore icon Krampus, courtesy of local business Dark Side of the Mirror.

 

This Christmas in Bournemouth article can be found in Revive & Thrive's Place Magazine
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Free and family-friendly entertainment at the upcoming Metropole Market also included returning favourites such as the fabulously funny comedy duo, Street Comedy and Lewis Jordan Brown’s energetic Rock “n’’ Roll tunes. There will new names performing too including the Bierfass Band, a group of Dorset musicians playing a unique mix of Bavarian polkas, waltzes and drinking tunes, combined with British pop and other well-known songs.

Furthermore, visitors to the market witnessed the Pantheatrix Fire Show. Dance was high on the agenda this month as well with performances by the First Position School of Dance along with Enrique Perez from Salsa Explosion UK, a Cuban inspired dance school, who was also be heating up the market and encouraging everyone to get up and join in.

Welcoming families, children’s entertainment was provided by Kristin Williams from Fusion Performing Arts. She held disco dancing sessions to keep the kids warm during the market. There was also a Kids Fancy Dress competition welcoming the most alternative Christmas outfits plus a Young Musicians Showcase featuring talented local artists, including Karl Lattimer an acoustic indie pop performer.Choose Revive & Thrive for your Business Improvement District Feasibility services

Lyn Turnbull, Co-Organiser of Metropole Market and Co-Owner of Mexigo Burrito Bar, said: “We’re thrilled to unveil all the wonderful and electrifying entertainment that we have in store for our final event of the year, especially the visit from Krampus and Deadpool! I would also like to encourage you all to dress up in line with our Candyland theme, especially all the children, to make this colourful pre-Christmas event truly special and unique.’’

 

For more information, visit  www.metropolemarket.co.uk or follow them on Facebook and Twitter – @MetropoleMarket.

More stories like this one from Bournemouth can be found in Place Magazine each month