Stratforward BID3 Consultation
BID businesses are being asked for their views on the future of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Business Improvement District (BID). The consultation is the first step in a process that will see all BID members being able to vote for a third BID term. Stratforward BID is currently is in its second term which started in 2014 and expires in March 2019. BID3 would run from April 1st, 2019 to March 2024.
This consultation, which runs until the end of February, allows the nearly 450 businesses who are members of the BID (levy payers) to have a say in how they want any future BID to operate. It will be followed by the development and release of the BID3 Business Plan this summer ahead of a vote in the autumn.
The document outlines key BID services as well as the value they bring to the town and to the businesses who pay the membership levy. It also includes potential themes for the next five years, giving business owners a chance to set the priorities for the next BID.
Sara Aspley, Chair of the Stratforward Board, said: “Over the last nine years, Stratforward has worked tirelessly to represent its members in what have often been complex, difficult and fast-changing trading times. Changing shopping habits over the last decade with the advent of internet shopping, mixed with tougher economic times and security issues, have seen high streets across the country struggle to keep people coming into towns. This consultation is really important to the future and direction of any third BID”.
During the revote process, Stratforward will not be stopping the mainstream work. The task of promoting the town to locals and visitors continues through the work of our hosts and a packed programme of events and campaigns. We are also committed to developing the business support and savings schemes that have proved so popular with members, not just retail ones, saving tens of thousands of pounds across the town. New initiatives such as the ‘Tax-Free Stratford’ project, a new visitor map and being part of a regional accessible scheme are all in the pipeline.
The company is also continuing lobbying and behind-the-scenes work with stakeholders such as Stratford Town Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Warwickshire County Council, Shakespeare's England, Stratford Business Forum, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP and others who promote Stratford as a destination for people and investment.
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Ojay McDonald, Acting Chief Executive of the Association of Town & City Management said “There is no slowdown in the challenges that businesses have to navigate in the 21st Century. The digital economy continues to grow at pace. Safety and security have risen up the political agenda with stretched police budgets and the threat of terrorism. And Brexit continues to cast the shadow of uncertainty over everything from tourism to business legislation. BIDs have become an essential vehicle for supporting high streets, giving businesses the stability and guidance they need meet the challenges head-on and thrive in the future. ATCM is proud of the BIDs movement, and how it has galvanised the private sector take its destiny into its own hands. We support the renewal of Stratforward BID."
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