Cardiff businesses BID for influence and change

Capital is one of last cities in UK not to have a Business Improvement District

27 April 2016

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Cardiff is one of the last cities in the UK not to have a Business Improvement District -BID (Swansea has just voted to keep its BID for another five years), but now businesses in the city centre are to decide whether this should change when they vote by ballot in June 2016, for or against.

If they deliver a ‘Yes’ vote (more than 50% needed) then the democratically elected, not-for-profit, independent company controlled by the businesses that fund it, would have a five year period in which to invest funds raised, manage the BID area and improve the city centre and trading environment. It would allow all business sectors - office, retail, leisure, entertainment and culture - to work with the public sector and have a greater say in making change happen.                                                                                                                  

Jeremy Symons, Director at Cooke & Arkwright who sat on the BID committee for Newport comments, “The proposal for a BID in Newport was discussed at some length with local traders before being decided upon by a vote. The vote approved the BID’s creation of ‘Now Newport’ and since then, its conception has created a number of initiatives to improve the retailing experience within Newport city centre. I believe a similar arrangement in Cardiff will have an equally positive impact.”

Extensive consultation has shown that businesses in Cardiff would want the BID to deliver on a wide range of factors affecting the city, its inhabitants, visitors and traders. They want it to:

  • Focus on encouraging people to visit more often, stay longer and invest more in the city centre
  • Provide cleaner, safer streets – including around major events
  • Provide a ‘softer’, safer environment through more attractive displays
  • Provide more focused and frequent street entertainment
  • Provide more support for existing events and establishment of new events, as well as a world-class Christmas season
  • Provide better publication of events
  • Provide more support for independent businesses, which add to the character, charm and diversity of the city
  • Forge closer links between business and universities to encourage students to stay once qualified
  • Establish a strong and viable evening economy
  • Make it easier to navigate around the city
  • Seek national recognition
  • Communicate progress
  • Influence and inform decisions
  • Undertake independent research to support key decisions
  • Lobby the council and regional agencies
  • And negotiate discounts on business costs.

Mansford has expanded its investment portfolio over the last few years. Over this time Andrew West has provided us with a full rating valuation service which has involved giving a view on liabilities prior to acquisitions, as well as conducting negotiations with Valuation Officers on our UK estate. The portfolio includes a wide range of properties from shops, offices and pubs to major leisure schemes. He has been particularly successful in mitigating our liabilities to empty property rate, which has been an issue on acquisition prior to implementing our development and letting strategy. I have no hesitation in recommending Andrew's expertise in rating valuation for all property types. The profile of property within his portfolio and the successes achieved are testament to his position as an extremely accomplished rating practitioner.

Leopold Hall, Partner, Mansford LLP