PROSPER MAGAZINE: SPECIAL DIGITAL EDITION
HELP FOR HIGH STREETS AND TOWN CENTRES ANNOUNCED
Earlier this month the High Streets Minister, Simon Clarke MP, announced a £6.1 million package to help the high street.
Business Improvement Districts will receive funding in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic with hundreds of local business partnerships across England sharing the pot of funding to spend on projects that will help their local economies through the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
The money will be paid to local authorities and dispersed to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), the local business partnerships that bring developers and communities together to provide local leadership, drive regeneration and deliver projects and additional local services.
Many BIDs are now playing a crucial role during these challenging economic times, offering hands-on support to those businesses affected, including advisory services, increased security to protect businesses that have closed, and providing key intelligence to local and central government on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their local economies.
Vicky Rogers, Town Centre BID Manager in Halesowen told Prosper, "Halesowen BID has welcomed the support offered by central government by way of the 'BID Resilience Fund' to support operational cost of BIDs during these unprecedented times.
"Halesowen, along with other BIDs across the country, lobbied parliament to gain the financial support needed. With support from local MPs and WMCA Mayor Andy Street, we finally got this across the line.
"It is a lifeline for many BIDs and will enable them to be an instrumental part in the 'Recovery phase' of the pandemic. Allowing us to continue supporting our local business and to help rebuild our town centres."
High Streets Minister, Simon Clarke MP said, “BIDs are uniquely placed and have a proven track record of success in supporting local businesses, empowering communities, championing town centres and driving forward the renewal of our high streets, they can carry on their vital work now and crucially when we move into the recovery phase from the current crisis.”
Meanwhile, Bill Addy, Chair of The BID Foundation, said, “BIDs have already stepped up to support those affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
“This includes working with local councils, emergency services and businesses to ensure help and information gets to those who need it; supporting shuttered shops to adapt and deliver their services online, and helping to coordinate safe and secure spaces that meet health advice.”
BIDs are proven an effective vehicle of leveraging private investment and have a significant role to play in high street regeneration: in 2019, BIDs across England raised over £106.7 million through levy payments to invest back into their respective towns and cities. Their role will be even more important in the recovery phase.