Newry is now a BID area!
The Newry Business Improvement District is a new exciting opportunity for our city to thrive, reinvent itself and tackle issues affecting growth and change. A BID offers us the opportunity to invest £1.8 million into our city over the next 5 years! The BID is a business led organisation which means that decisions will be reached by commercially minded local business people. Newry City was elected a BID area on the 6th November 2015. The Newry BID Company is operational as of 8th March 2016. Contact us for more information and watch this space for updates! We are working on a new website and marketing campaign to improve our engagement with stakeholders. We need your help to put our plans in action and want to represent your voice! Find our more about the BID below and on our News Section.
Your City. Your Vision
WHAT IS A BID?
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a local, democratically elected organisation that focuses on delivering specific improvements needed by local business in a defined area. BIDs invest in and deliver projects to improve the local trading environment, drive down business costs and raise the area profile. BIDs are led and controlled by business; they are independent, not-for-profit organisations with ring-fenced resources and finances.
The projects are funded by raising finance, principally, through a levy. The levy is an investment by businesses into a BID pot of money apportioned according to business needs. Businesses direct spend and are given a voice to shape the BID. We encourage our BID members to focus on their sector, street and overall vision to improve Newry City. The Newry BID levy has been set at 1.5% which is applied to the rateable value or NAV of the property.
A BID operates for five years. Throughout the term the BID is accountable to its levy-paying businesses and must demonstrate how it makes a difference. After five years a re-ballot must be held to enable the BID to continue.
In order for a BID to be established, a ballot of all eligible businesses in the BID area is held. Our local council was responsible for organising the BID ballot in Newry.
When a BID is declared, the levy will be mandatory for all liable businesses in the BID area regardless of whether they chose to vote yes, no or not at all. Legislation passed by Stormont in 2014 will ensure that all businesses are legally obliged to pay the levy.
BIDs offer businesses an opportunity to identify priorities and invest in projects and services that benefit them, their customers, clients, visitors and employees. The BID Company monitors results and performances.
There are over 180 BIDs in the UK with many expected to grow in the ROI. UK BIDs will bring in around £300 million over the next 5 years to help develop their areas. Northern Ireland has embraced the concept of a BID to develop major towns and cities. The Department of Social Development has supported the roll out of a BID pilot scheme for Newry, Strabane, Enniskillen, Belfast One, Cathedral Quarter Belfast and Ballymena. There are now 5 BIDs in Northern Ireland with several more areas considering the prospect of electing a BID over the next couple of years.
NEWRY AS A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT – HOW WE GOT HERE
The Newry BID team completed an in-depth research and analytical phase gathering data, carrying out market research with stakeholders and hosting seminars and workshops to establish business needs, areas for improvement and potential BID Projects. This information was been presented initially in our Consultation Paper which led to the development of Newry City’s first Business Plan which outlines main projects, budgets and consultation results upon which the BID Ballot will be based. Throughout this process, we received expert guidance from BID consultants, place management experts, private sector and the public sector representatives which has helped shape the Newry BID model. Eligible businesses were asked to take part in a ballot between 24th of September and the 5th November 2015. On the 6th November, businesses voted YES to a BID for Newry.
We are now officially a BID area and the Newry BID Company is now operational as of 8th March 2016. We have established a business-led Board made up of local businesses and stakeholders, many of whom were involved in driving the Newry BID Campaign forward. Next year we hope to increase the size of our Board and will be inviting new members to participate and represent their sector or area.
NEWRY BID DECLARATION
Newry was declared a BID on 6th November 2015. The declaration followed a ballot result and was held in local business, Finegan & Son, Kildare Street. For more on the event and results follow:
NEWRY BID BUSINESS PLAN
The Newry BID business plan followed our BID Consultation paper which was distributed to stakeholders prior to the BID ballot in 2016.
Newry City was declared a Business Improvement District on the 6th November. The Newry BID offers businesses the opportunity to work together to enhance their trading environment to attract investment, increased footfall and tourism. Towns and cities must have a competitive edge and create a thriving, bustling and vibrant environment to survive the challenges faced by high streets such as out of town developments.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE NEW NEWRY BID COMPANY
Membership of the Newry BID Company is now open to eligible stakeholders. Please complete and return the Membership Form and read through Company Membership Protocols. All eligible businesses will receive an invoice setting out the amount payable to the BID Company. This invoice will be paid annually over the next 5 years. All eligible businesses will be able to benefit from BID initiatives but we would encourage your direct participation in the company by completing the membership form.
HOW ARE WE PROGRESSING?
The Newry BID Company has been operational since 8th March 2016. There has been a transitionary period between the ballot declaration and the set up of the company to allow for the agreement of operational matters, the allocation of the budget, appointment of staff, organisation of the BID Launch, establishment of a board, co-opted members and working groups to ensure matters are progressed through a process of consultation.
Our board appointed Christine McElvanna, from JMK Solicitors as Chairperson of Newry BID, Peter Murray from the Buttercrane Centre sits as our Deputy Chairperson. We have a number of new business members who have joined the BID to work on our particular focus areas : Promotion of the City Centre, Supporting Business and Improving our City. We have recently commenced a new Branding Strategy for the Newry City area and are reviewing a number of cost cutting initiatives to help support our business community and demonstrate return on investment.
We are now members of NI BIDs and will receive expert advice on improving Newry City through the BID model for the next 12 months at least.