Fact-finding trip for BID team

IPSWICH Experience, the company that is driving the Ipswich Business Improvement District initiative, has been on a fact finding mission to Bedford to see how a recently launched BID can actually work on the streets.

IPSWICH Experience, the company that is driving the Ipswich Business Improvement District initiative, has been on a fact finding mission to Bedford to see how a recently launched BID can actually work on the streets.

In the first three months of the Bedford BID commencing, 4,000 more people have used the town centre each week, substantially increasing footfall.

Paul Clement, head of Ipswich Experience, said he was very encouraged by what he saw in Bedford: “Bedford is a similar town in many ways to Ipswich and in a short period of time the BID vehicle there has really made an impact.

“Having got the yes vote last year, which we are confident we will get this summer, the Bedford BID is making a real difference to the look and feel of the town centre. During our visit we saw visible evidence of the street wardens in action, higher police presence and a general feeling of all walks of life coming together.”


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A BID is a specific set of additional initiatives, voted for by all businesses in a defined town centre area, designed to improve its performance from the viewpoint of the traders, their customers and staff. A small levy, based on the rateable value of premises, will be collected and pooled to pay for these extra services that businesses agree are vital for the progress of the town.

A total of 22 other town centre locations in England have so far voted in favour of a BID, including Bedford, Birmingham, Coventry, Rugby and Reading, with five more to vote shortly.

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Bedford has achieved significant improvements for businesses, their staff and customers in the first quarter of operation and 70% of businesses now indicate that they feel more positive about the BID.

Ipswich Experience recently received the results of extensive independent research pointing towards five core themes for the BID: making Ipswich cleaner; making the town safer; providing more quality marketing, promotions and events; improving the access into the town and enhancing the look and feel of Ipswich.

A “Vote Ipswich” campaign will be launched at the end of May to allow further time to consult with businesses, building up to a postal ballot of all eligible businesses during July.

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