Derby Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) has unveiled its plans to build on the award-winning momentum achieved over the past ten years and face the numerous challenges ahead for the next five years.

Representatives from a wide range of businesses gathered at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery this week for the official launch of the BID business plan 2018 – 2023.

Levy paying businesses will soon have the opportunity to vote for the proposals with ballot papers issued on Wednesday 4th October.  Voting closes on Thursday 2nd November with the decision announced the following day. Subject to a successful vote, the new BID will start on 1st March 2018.

In order for the proposals set out in this Business Plan to go ahead, a simple majority of those who vote must register a ‘YES’ vote whilst those in favour also have to represent more than 50% of the combined ‘rateable values’ of those who vote. If these two criteria are met, the Business Plan is activated and all businesses in the area will be required to pay the levy.

A levy of 2% of rateable value will apply for businesses with a rateable value of £6,000 and above in the first year, whilst those with a rateable value of between £2,000 and £5,999 will pay a fixed amount of £105.  Businesses with a rateable value of less than £2,000 will be exempt from the levy but will be offered the opportunity to be a part of the BID on a voluntary basis subject to a small charge.

The BID budget for the five year programme will be £1.5 million – made up of the levy payments and supplemented by voluntary, private and public sector contributions.

This will fund projects planned under the new BID vision – to continue to support and enable all businesses to benefit from the Cathedral Quarter as a place which is attractive and vibrant with a sense of community and a lifestyle which is individual, diverse and inspiring.

Three key objectives have been developed following feedback from businesses. These are:

  1. The Cathedral Quarter Experience

To continue to develop the great Cathedral Quarter lifestyle experience for visitors and people working in the area to enjoy

  1. Cathedral Quarter Businesses

To continue to build the local, regional and national reputation of the Cathedral Quarter as a great place for the evening and night time economy, retail, hair and beauty, leisure and culture and professional services

  1. Business Growth and Investment in the Cathedral Quarter

To continue to encourage growth, development and investment of businesses which complement and build on the strengths of the Cathedral Quarter

Activities taking place under these three objectives include:

  • Tackling begging, anti-social behaviour and crime issues through the continuation of the popular Ranger scheme, funding additional police presence in the area, establishing crime reduction schemes and lobbying to improve CCTV coverage and live monitoring
  • Improving parking in the area and public transport access to and from the Cathedral Quarter
  • Further development and support of events to encourage more people to visit and stay in the area
  • Investing further in Christmas lights, entertainment and promotions
  • Improving the appearance of the streets and open spaces through creative lighting, public art and floral displays and providing additional hotspot street cleaning where required
  • Further developing marketing and promotional campaigns including social media and a new website which would appeal to a broader range of customers and visitors
  • Update the loyalty scheme
  • Encourage more inter-trading between Cathedral Quarter businesses
  • Design specific campaigns and events for the different sectors operating within the Cathedral Quarter
  • Capitalise on the opportunities of more people living in and around the area
  • Working with partners to improve the appearance and marketability of derelict sites and vacant properties and to encourage the right kind of businesses into the area
  • Provide information and data to businesses to support them in their own growth and development
  • Seek match funding, grants and sponsorship to enhance the project and activities already planned

Martin Langsdale is chair of the Cathedral Quarter and leads a board of local business people and partner representatives who oversee the BID activities.

He urged fellow Cathedral Quarter businesses to support the proposals and ensure that the positive work continued in the Cathedral Quarter.

“It has taken ten years of hard work by everyone in the Cathedral Quarter to create a successful brand and to ensure the successful delivery of a business-led programme of activity.

“By working together, we have addressed the challenges faced by businesses head on and turned around the fortunes of this area.

“Through it all the Cathedral Quarter has developed into a quality lifestyle destination – outperforming regional and national trends and culminating in the BID’s success in being named both ATCM National BID of the Year and best city location in the Great British High Street Awards in 2016.

“Some may think that, with these accolades under our belt, it is job done and that the momentum would continue under its own steam.  I truly believe that this would not be the case.

“If we didn’t have a BID a huge amount of activity that businesses really value will simply stop and we will lose the collective voice that needs to be heard moving forward.

“We therefore need to vote Yes for the BID programme to continue for 2018 to 2023 so that we can build on the momentum that we have gained already, capitalise on the opportunities available to us and meet the challenges that we still face.

“This business plan is the opportunity to take the Cathedral Quarter and individual businesses to another level and to create a destination which others aspire to be part of.”

The full Cathedral Quarter 2018-23 Business plan can be read on the Cathedral Quarter website.