£5m will be invested into Liverpool city centre if traders vote to renew the Retail & Leisure BID for a fifth term this spring. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool BID Company is seeking a fifth term for its Retail & Leisure BID this spring and a ‘yes’ vote from traders will trigger a £5m investment into the city centre.
Retail & Leisure was Liverpool’s first Business Improvement District (BID) back in 2005. It covered businesses across the retail district. It initially excluded Bold Street but the thoroughfare was added in the second term.
Since then Liverpool BID Company has added two other BID areas – Culture & Commerce (formerly the Commercial District BID) and, in November, it formed the UK’s first Accommodation BID, covering hotels and other accommodation providers.
Currently, the Retail & Leisure BID covers stretches from Lord Street to Bold Street, Renshaw Street, Williamson Square and the Cavern Quarter. This fifth term would add Hope Street to the areas covered.
The Retail & Leisure BID secured its fourth term after the city’s retailers voted 66% in favour of renewal. It does not include Liverpool ONE.
Liverpool BID is a not for profit, funded by an annual levy paid by those businesses which are eligible in designated areas of the city centre. There are more than 1,000 businesses in the city centre part of Liverpool BID Areas.
Services they receive include dedicated street cleaning, networked radios to provide better security and coverage, lobbying and connectivity to those in power, including at a local, regional and national level.
Funds are also used for events and animation in BID areas designed to tell the story of particular neighbourhoods, to attract visitors and to help businesses to thrive. Liverpool BID also provides data services to its members.
If approved, the new budget, which would see the BID run until summer 2028, would see £900,000 spent in years one and two, with £1m-plus spent in years three, four and five. Plans for the next five years include:
- Funding a summer of festivals showcasing the character of the city centre’s different neighbourhoods including Castle Street, Bold Street, Williamson Square and Hope Street.
- Investing in Christmas decorations and animation across the city centre.
- Seasonal campaigns to attract visitors to the city, from Valentine’s to Halloween.
- Greening the city centre and helping businesses to achieve net zero.
- Delivering on strategic plans for the Cavern Quarter and Williamson Square to improve visitor experience and attract footfall.
- Supporting cultural organisations to bring their activity into the public realm.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, said: “Almost two decades ago, Liverpool became one of the first UK cities to establish a BID, Business Improvement District. Since then the city centre has transformed.
“What BID offers is the opportunity for businesses to have a direct impact and say in that transformation.
“The levy from our businesses is an investment that goes towards making Liverpool a place to thrive, for those living, working and visiting the city.
“It is about working with our city partners to constantly improve and enhance the public realm, make the city more attractive, safer and easier to get around.
“Without the BID, Liverpool city centre would look very different. We are the only organisation that develops and lobbies for a specific strategy designed purely for the city centre’s mixed economy.
“Liverpool is a visitor destination, it is a dynamic and ambitious city. While the public purse is shrinking our businesses look to their own civic role to help ensure the value of Liverpool is always seen and always felt.
“This helps to keep our city vibrant and reflects Liverpool city centre’s mixed economy.”