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Iceni Magazine | May 19, 2018

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Success for Norwich Business Improvement District Expansion

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Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) are celebrating a ‘YES’ vote for a bigger, bolder and better city centre, following months of campaigning and a formal ballot with Norwich businesses.

The successful ‘YES’ vote had overwhelming support from the Norwich business community for the BID’s expansion plans, with 88.4% of businesses by number and 94% by businesses by rateable value voting ‘YES’ for another five years of activity by the Business Improvement District.

Peter Michell, Chair of the Norwich BID and Group Managing Director at Jarrolds said, “I am absolutely delighted we have secured the support of city centre businesses with a strong YES vote for a further 5 years of BID-funded activity.  I’d like to congratulate Stefan Gurney and his BID team on this result – the YES vote is a direct result of their hard work during this renewal campaign and their achievements for the BID over the last 5 years.  My thanks also to all those business leaders who have given their time, enthusiasm and expertise to the BID.  We now have the business backing, the funding and the team we need to deliver Norwich BID’s programme over the next 5 years for the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors.  At a time when investment in towns and cities is getting squeezed all across the UK, this is fantastic news for our amazing city”.

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director, Norwich BID said, “This is a fantastic result and we would like to thank all the businesses that have supported and voted yes.  During the past five years, the BID team have delivered a wide and varied range of projects for the benefit of all in Norwich.  I now look forward to working with the BID team to deliver our five-year business plan for the city”. 

“I am delighted that the Business Improvement District has won overwhelming support for another five years and will now cover the whole of the city centre. We very much look forward to continuing to work in a beneficial and productive partnership to promote and enhance the city of Norwich.” Cllr. Alan Waters, leader Norwich City Council.

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This is a fantastic result for Norwich and the ‘YES’ vote from the business community will help create a more vibrant and thriving city centre.

Since 2012 the Norwich BID have funded a number of projects such as the Christmas lights, Europe’s first Tunnel of Light, free city centre Wi-Fi, the welcoming City Hosts, Head Out, Not Home free summer entertainment and the free to download VisitNorwich app. 

The BID will now raise £5m to spend over five years, delivering a positive impact on the vitality of our city centre and the success of the businesses within it. 

The BID now has the opportunity to go bigger, bolder and better with a new business plan and wider coverage in the city area and, following the success of the ballot, the BID will continue to deliver its core activities and will look to build on its successes with several new initiatives for the city.

The BID will deliver:

  • National marketing initiatives and campaigns to help promote Norwich to visitors as well as to investors and employers.
  • An enriching, enjoyable and safe experience here for those who live or work in Norwich and for visitors to the city.
  • A coordinated, strong and active voice for businesses on the issues that matter.

The BID will continue to deliver its initiatives and will be increasing its scope of a wider city centre area to deliver increased innovation to drive footfall.

Guy Gowing, Arnolds Key said, “In its first five years, the BID has shown itself to be a proactive force in promoting the city, increasing footfall and creating a buzz which supports hard-pressed retailers in particular”.

Simon Lubbock, Director, NatWest, “Norwich BID plays a valuable role in maintaining the quality of our city-centre environment and ensuring that businesses has a strong voice.”

Paul McCarthy, GM, intu Chapelfield, “Norwich BID is a highly innovative company, adopting a range of digital channels to engage with the general public and the businesses it serves.”

Tim Bishop, Chief Executive, The Forum Trust said, “The BID has simply made the city work better.  There’s been a level of cooperation that has made the city a better place work and to visit”

Details of the initiatives and projects the BID will deliver can be found in the business plan, available from the BIDs website.  The BID’s business plan explains how it will take on responsibility for delivering these initiatives and further develop the BID programme through its five-year term.

The Norwich BID is run for local businesses by local businesses and the £5m for these initiatives will be raised by an annual 1% levy on the rateable value of business premises over 30,000 within the BID area.


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