Feasibility study 2013

Thanks to everyone who filled in a BID survey as part of our BID feasibility survey which was carried out by Michelle Baker from Regen Management.

  • We received 217 responses.
  • This equates to 33.5% of the total number of businesses in Lichfield within the proposed BID boundary.

This is higher than the turnout on most BID ballots:

The Cambridge BID ballot had a 33% turnout
The Soho Road BID ballot in Birmingham had a 21% turnout

How businesses ‘voted’ in Lichfield

  • 55% said yes to a BID
  • 27% were unsure about a BID
  • 18% said no to a BID

This means that if the survey had been the actual BID ballot, the BID would have got through. A lot of the unsure businesses also told us that they might vote yes, if they liked the projects included in the BID business plan, so the ‘yes’ rate could be higher.

How much could a Lichfield BID generate?

We consulted on a 1.5% BID levy, which could see small businesses paying from £50 a year, up to the largest national chains contributing a maximum of £3,000 a year. This could generate around £200,000 a year (or £1 million over a 5 year BID).

  • 80% exemption for the 32 hereditaments (votes) with Mandatory Charity Rates Relief (this does not include retail charities such as Oxfam)
  • £5,000 cap on BID levy (i.e the maximum any one hereditament would pay)
  • No initial minimum threshold, so even the smallest businesses would pay
  • No pooling of those with multiple heriditaments/votes – so if a business own two rateable premises, they will pay two separate BID levies.
  • In terms of how the £200,000 per annum would be spent, it would be invested by local businesses (through a BID steering group headed by local businesses) on the projects local businesses think will boost footfall and trade which would be set out in a BID business plan.

What did businesses say they want the money spent on through the questionnaires?

The highlights from the surveys included:

Attractive, Safe & Clean: Free WiFi – for businesses and visitors, street café permits – create a café culture, additional Police / PCSO – dedicated to BID area, improved toilet facilities

Voice for Local Businesses: BID manager / city centre manager, business networking

Marketing & Promotion: Parking promotions, marketing & raising the profile of Lichfield for eating / drinking / shopping / business, marketing your business location, marketing and raising the profile of Lichfield for heritage & culture, regional press / radio / PR campaigns to market the city and events

Events: More events, particularly winter and Christmas attractions.

Read the Lichfield BID Feasibility Study.

How was the study funded?

The Lichfield Town Team (previously the Lichfield City Centre Coordination Group) is a group of city traders who meet regularly to discuss city issues. The Town Team is hosted by Lichfield District Council, and includes a membership of the City Council, police, city businesses and organisations, and is open to any city business to join.

The Lichfield Town Team has been tasked by Lichfield District Council with investing over £50,000 High Street Innovation funding that was awarded to the council by the government in 2012.

The aim of the funding is to boost footfall in the high street, and along with a number of marketing initiatives (new city map, new city business website, door stickers and more – read the most recent version of www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/cityspeak), they chose to invest some of the funding in a BID feasibility study and the further development of the BID.

This is because if a BID is successfully developed, it could generate money to support the city centre in future years.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about the BID feasibility study, please contact Michelle Baker direct on 07527 016 338 or email michelle@regenmanagement.co.uk

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