Currently high streets and town centres throughout the UK are under severe pressure through the migration of customers to online purchasing sources. In consequence, we believe that the work of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) is becoming increasingly important for local economic regeneration.
Government Guidance describes BIDS as “business led partnerships which are created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to local businesses.” It also claims that “they can be a powerful tool for directly involving local businesses in local activities and allow the business community and local authorities to work together to improve the local trading environment.”
Given that funding for BIDs is secured through a levy charged to business rate payers in the BID area, which is paid on top of business rates, it is vital that BIDs gain results and their work is not seen as irrelevant or cosmetic. Local businesses under financial pressures need to see policies that justify their investment.
Reading – an example to follow?
The Glenside team carries out office fit-out, design and relocation projects, primarily, although not exclusively, in the London area and the Home Counties. On completion of these projects, we remain strongly committed to the success of every client’s business and are well aware that this can depend to a large extent on the environment in which they are located.
BIDs have a major role to play in creating an attractive and vibrant working environment and we have been particularly impressed by the developments that have taken place in the Berkshire town of Reading. So it comes as no surprise to us that the Borough Council recently endorsed Reading UK’s proposals for renewing the retail-focused Reading Business Improvement District and also for launching a new Commercial BID for the Abbey Quarter as a desirable location for businesses to thrive.
What has been particularly impressive about Reading’s BID has been their strategic vision for the town and the way that a wide range of complementary activities and projects have been initiated with significant success.
As Councillor Jo Lovelock, Leader of Reading Borough Council, explained: “The benefits of the BID to the town centre, businesses and Reading’s economy since it began back in 2006 have been enormous. There is now a huge opportunity to build on that success by retaining the retail BID and creating a new BID which will play a big part in promoting the Abbey Quarter as a major centre for both business and culture.”
Glenside wishes Reading BID every success in progressing its planned developments and looks forward to undertaking further exciting projects for businesses in this dynamic town and its surrounding area.