See what we’ve spent, in time and money. It has to continue
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]portbid.com or telephone 01704 538382.
Southport’s Lord Street: BID’s continued existence is vital to promote the town’s business