See what we’ve spent, in time and money. It has to con­tinue

Midweek Visiter - - Southport Bid St Joseph’s Hospice -

HAPPY New Year. The next few months are go­ing to be piv­otal in de­ter­min­ing whether our BID con­tin­ues for a sec­ond fiveyear term.

It comes as an­a­lysts, re­tail­ers, and ev­ery­one else with an in­ter­est in the fu­ture of our tra­di­tional High Streets and shop­ping cen­tres await the spend­ing fig­ures from the Christ­mas trad­ing pe­riod.

South­port is no dif­fer­ent to other town cen­tres across the coun­try.

Any down­turn in sales ac­tiv­ity will strengthen calls for more in­vest­ment.

There’s no doubt that Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Dis­tricts have a key role to play with the fund­ing that they gen­er­ate help­ing their re­spec­tive ar­eas to com­pete against other towns and cities.

What would South­port be like with­out the vis­ual im­prove­ments that our BID has put in place over the past few years?

Since 2014 we’ve re­placed all the Lord Street tree lights and in­tro­duced new light­ing for Chapel Street and Tulketh Street; we’ve taken the sum­mer and win­ter plant­ing schemes to a much higher level and pro­vided the Lord Street vol­un­teers with fund­ing (with awards to show for it); we’ve de­liv­ered a con­tin­ual im­prov­ing Christ­mas cam­paign with new lights, switch-on cer­e­mony, Christ­mas tree, and other en­ter­tain­ment.

We’ve de­liv­ered the Hal­lowe’en and Chilli Fes­ti­vals and sup­ported other events in­clud­ing the com­edy fes­ti­val and South­port Fes­ti­val.

We’ve spent thou­sands on mar­ket­ing cam­paigns that sup­port our lo­cal in­de­pen­dent and na­tional re­tail­ers, and thou­sands on ad­ver­tis­ing South­port as a des­ti­na­tion.

Our taxi mar­shals have been on duty every Fri­day and Satur­day night through­out the year help­ing rev­ellers make their way home.

This Christ­mas we even funded a para­medic to sup­port the Street Pas­tors – part of a cam­paign to help boost our night-time econ­omy.

We’ve lob­bied on be­half of in­di­vid­ual busi­nesses strug­gling to make their voice heard. We’ve es­tab­lished a di­rect line to Sefton Coun­cil and are reg­u­larly con­sulted on mat­ters that af­fect our town cen­tre.

With­out the fund­ing raised by the BID levy pay­ers none of this would have hap­pened.

We hear the ar­gu­ment that the money would have been found from some­where. But from where?

Cer­tainly not Sefton (whose dis­cre­tionary spend­ing con­tin­ues to be cut back).

Vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tions might raise some­thing but cer­tainly not the amount that the BID has spent.

Our cam­paign to se­cure a Yes vote in May’s bal­lot will be ramped up in earnest over the com­ing weeks.

All our plans for the new term are in our man­i­festo, a copy of which will be pub­lished on our web­site later this month.

For more, please email [email protected]­port­ or tele­phone 01704 538382.

South­port’s Lord Street: BID’s con­tin­ued ex­is­tence is vi­tal to pro­mote the town’s busi­ness

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