A total of £9m will be invested into Liverpool city centre after businesses voted in favour of renewing the Retail & Leisure BID just weeks after the new Accommodation BID was established. Tony McDonough reports
Businesses in the retail district of Liverpool city centre have voted overwhelmingly in favour of renewal of the Retail & Leisure BID – triggering a £5m investment.
This follows approval in March for the city’s first Accommodation BID. That will lead to a £4m investment into the city centre, making a total of £9m. The renewal of the Retail & Leisure BID will see it run until summer 2028.
BIDs (Business Improvement Districts) are funded by a levy paid by businesses within the designated area. First, the majority of businesses have to vote in favour of its establishment. Liverpool’s first BID was established in 2005.
The Retail & Leisure BID, which covers retail areas excluding Liverpool ONE, Culture and Commerce BID, covering the commercial district, and the Accommodation BID, covering hotels and accommodation, are all run by the not-for-profit Liverpool BID Company.
In the latest ballot 84% of businesses voted in favour. Over the next five years £5m will be spent on animation and marketing, street cleaning and maintenance of the public realm alongside networking and business events.
The BID Area stretched from Lord Street to Bold Street, Renshaw Street, Williamson Square and the Cavern Quarter. It will now extend to Hope Street. There are now more than 1,000 city centre businesses represented by the three BIDS.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, said: “We are delighted to be able to mark such an important year for Liverpool, and celebrate two decades of the establishment of the city’s first BID, with such a vote of confidence.
“Liverpool was one of the first cities in the UK to establish a BID and it fully reflects the approach of the city’s business community to commit to the city’s future.
“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.”
Services offered by the BIDs 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.
The funds are also used for events and animation in BID Areas designed to tell the story of particular neighbourhoods and to attract visitors. Liverpool BID also provides data services to help businesses understand how the city centre is performing.
As part of the Retail & Leisure BID renewal there will be £850,000 spent in year one, £900,000 in years two, three and four, and more than £1m in year five. Plans include:
- Summer of festivals showcasing the character of the city centre’s different neighbourhoods.
- 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 masterplans 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 added: “”Without the BID, Liverpool city centre would be a very different place. As well as events and public realm investment and management, we lobby on behalf of our city centre businesses.
“To be a destination for visitors and investors, Liverpool has to be a place that works for everyone.”