David Swaffield, property partner at law firm Hill Dickinson, discusses the next steps on the road to achieving BID status in Liverpool’s commercial district.
I was delighted to see Liverpool City Council approve plans to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in the commercial district. The council’s backing, though not unexpected, gives us renewed confidence that BID status is good for the district and, moreover, good for the city.
Hill Dickinson has been a keen supporter of the partnership, and the subsequent BID application, from the outset as we understand the importance of a clean, attractive and forward-thinking commercial district.
For a small levy equivalent to one per cent of rateable value – for many ratepayers no more than the price of a daily cup of coffee – we can generate an additional £600,000 per year for enhanced marketing, maintenance and physical improvements.
At a time when public spending cuts have created a need for the private sector to protect the city’s wider interests and leverage further investment, and speaking for one of the highest ratepayers in the commercial district, such figures speak for themselves.
The proposals have now gone forward to Eric Pickles, Communities and Local Government Secretary, ahead of a final ballot of more than 800 landlords and tenants in the Spring.
In the meantime, a group of BID Ambassadors, including Frank McKenna, Jack Stopforth and myself, will be visiting members of the business community to promote the application, while a number of events will be held at venues around the district, including The Noble House and Temple Court.
Ratepayers should also contact the partnership if they have any questions about BID status, or visit www.liverpoolcdp.com/bid for further information.
The ballot is scheduled to close on May 27 and all those eligible to vote will receive a copy of the BID business plan in mid-April, followed by ballot papers on April 29. The outcome of the ballot will be announced on May 31 and, if successful, the BID will be implemented from June 1.
Information is the vital ingredient to success and I am confident that, given the correct details, voters will recognise the numerous benefits of BID status and back the application.
For Hill Dickinson, a strong commercial district has been a key pillar of our own growth ambitions in the city, most notably with the launch and continued success of our flagship offices at St Paul’s Square, in the very heart of the commercial district.
Securing BID status will give further impetus to our plans to cement our position as an international law firm with a strong regional presence.