With a further five years secured, Bilston BID can ensure that the services businesses have told us are important to them are continued and new opportunities for a brighter future are embraced.
Safe and Secure
The BID’s CCTV cameras keep a watchful eye on the main shopping areas and two main car parks – Batchcroft and Pinfold Street. As well as recording any incidents which can be used in a court of law, they are a strong deterrent to anyone considering unlawful activity. The cameras are monitored 24/7 from the dedicated monitoring centre at Wolverhampton Homes’ base a couple of miles away.
The BID’s radio link scheme connects over 50 businesses enabling them to respond and share information in real time across the town.
The BID also employs BBP Security to patrol the whole of the BID area during the hours of darkness. The patrol car sweeps the town 7 times per night, checking on the front and back of all premises, reporting any anti-social behaviour or suspicious activity to either the police and/or the BID Manager.
Our calendar of events not only help to entertain regular shoppers and workers, but also aim to bring in more visitors to see what Bilston has to offer. Working in partnership with other event providers we make sure our businesses are involved and engaged.
Promotions and Marketing
Our Discover Bilston brand promotes the town in a positive light across all of the BID’s activities.
Festive advertising makes sure Bilston is in people’s minds for Christmas events, shop opening hours and our full range of cafés and pubs.
By extending the number of streets in the town with Christmas Lights we are making sure shoppers know we are ‘open for business’ and keeping a festive feel for our shoppers and evening economy.
Collecting footfall data 24/7 – 365 days a year, we have a real insight into how our town centre is facing up to the challenges on the high streets and we use it to measure how our events and activities impact on increases in footfall.
BID 2 – Plans for our next 5 years
Bilston, Like every town around the country has had a really tough 2020. As if the High Street wasn’t struggling enough, COVID has made things much worse. Therefore, Towns & Cities need BIDs more than ever, in order to pull themselves from the lows that have been experienced recently.
BID LEVY CHARGE
Firstly, we are changing the way the BID levy is charged. The current banding system will disappear, being replaced by a fairer system that is based on your rateable value. Each business will contribute 2.5% of their RV, which will be a big saving for the majority of businesses.
The BID will continue to seek money saving offers and grant opportunities. The BID will also be looking to provide training for levy payers in a range of subjects, such as social media, cyber-crime etc
The BID is also looking into a ‘Mystery Shopper’ initiative, where business owners can find out how well customers are treated.
We’ve understood that, while events are important, they’re not helpful to all businesses, especially those at the top and bottom of the town, and do nothing for our evening economy.
There will still be a few events, but more time and money will be spent on other matters.
The investment we have made over the past five years has really paid dividends with crime down by 22.45%.
In the next five years, we plan to increase the number of link radios issued to businesses, continue with the overnight patrols and carry on holding monthly Pubwatch meetings.
Our CCTV network will also increase, with more cameras planned for Mount Pleasant, Wellington Road, Lichfield Street and Hall Street. On top of this, there will be one addition to the top of the High Street, which will also cover the car park by McDonalds.
In the last 12 months, we started to put more focus on marketing, including radio and TV advertising, social media campaigns and a brochure, promoting the town’s variety of products and services to people moving in to the new Urban Village.
We plan to do more of this, with a new quarterly magazine, which will be distributed to 60,000 homes in areas adjoining Bilston.
This will be our shop window to local people, many of whom may look to surrounding towns, such as Willenhall, Darlaston, Wednesfield and suchlike.
Our aim, is to turn their thoughts towards Bilston, so we can increase the footfall in the town and improve your profits.
We will continue to expand our social media audience with continued use of facebook, more posts on Instagram and introduce a Twitter page for those that use that method.
The BID has received an approach from businesses in Etruria Way and Beldray Road, who are keen to enjoy the benefits that the BID can provide.
This will increase the amount of money to spend on making improvements to the town and its image.
The new area will also benefit from additional CCTV cameras and overnight patrols.
As well as the printed quarterly newsletter, which will continue, we are also looking to improve our database of emails and telephone numbers so that we can get messages out quickly, when the need arises.
The BID Manager will also hold Open Office days each month, with businesses encouraged to visit the BID Manager and BID Assistant, to discuss their needs and to see how the BID can help them to get more value for money from their levy payment.
Every three months there will also be a Networking Event, where businesses can meet and learn more about each other and discuss issues of concern.
LOBBYING FOR THE TOWN
Quite a lot of the work that the BID does, isn’t obvious to the levy payers. The BID Manager sits on several committees and boards, representing Bilston and making sure that the towns best interests are looked after.
Earlier this year, the BID Manager was elected to the Town Funds Board, which has applied for just under £50m of government funding.
The BID Manager, along with local politicians, argued that £7.5 million of that should be spent on major improvements to the market, which has had little investment over the last 40 years.
The BID Manager is also at the heart of discussions around COVID, pushing for as much help as possible for businesses affected by the pandemic.
The BID Manager also holds to account, other major stake holders, such as the council and the police, ensuring that they remain focussed on Bilston.