The Warrington BID Team spent much of 2017 consulting with business and organisations across the town centre to understand the challenges and opportunities for businesses operating in the town centre.
The key messages back from business included:
- It is essential to better promote and market Warrington as a destination
- We need additional, carefully selected events and festivals to attract visitors and customers into the town centre on a more frequent basis
- 50% of businesses make more sales during days when events and festivals are in town
- The quality of the visitor experience must be improved through investment in the town centre’s assets and visitor experience services
- Transport remains a key challenge, with further improvements and investments needed to meet the needs of businesses, their employees and customers
- We need to get better at sharing of intelligence, information and news”
- Businesses need and want a go-to body to manage town centre improvements
- Safety and security is good, however, hot spots exist, for which additional investment is needed to resolve these challenges
- 61% of businesses reported being a victim of crime during 2017
- Opportunities exist to share in purchasing of common services, including training and business support services
- 77% of business want a single, dedicated body to lead on town centre improvements.
- 84% of businesses described the themes for the BID as either important or very important to their business
Following this consultation, and feedback on our draft plan for a BID, the final BID proposal is now available. The headline benefits from the BID include:
- £1.8million investment in new, additional services and project to enhance our town centre.
- A sustained marketing and promotional campaign to draw more customers and visitors into the town centre
- Review and improvement of town centre welcoming services to improve the customer experieince
- New investment in festival and events to increase footfall throughout the year
- Development and trial of public transport links into the town centre to support the night time and day time economies
- Targeted improvement projects to tackle crime and security hot spots across the town centre
- Delivery of environmental enhancement projects to improve signage and the quality of the public realm
- No-cost access to joint procurement programmes to reduce training and business operational costs
All businesses who are eligible under the BID will have the opportunity to vote to approve the BID between the 28th February and the 28th March through a postal ballot. The results of the postal ballot will be announced on or after the 29th March.