Go Forth

Go Forth Stirling - Additional External Funding

Business Improvement Districts have a proven track record of attracting and raising additional external funding for their respective areas. Across the Scottish BIDs this equates to an average of 47p for every £1 of levy raised. It is an approach that Go Forth Stirling will follow; using the projected five-year levy fund of £1.6 million to inspire and attract additional inward investment to benefit the BID area further. Following this statistical average could mean an additional £750,000 of funding for city centre projects over this term.

The Go Forth Steering Group are still making visits to city centre businesses during the current voting period, explaining the benefits a BID could bring to them, voting closes on 4th July. The money raised to fund the Go Forth Business Plan is generated by the affected businesses in the BID area, the Steering Group are keen to highlight the potential for additional investment from external sources.

‘We are still meeting businesses and talking about the benefits a BID could bring to them, part of these discussions has been around extra funding for Go Forth. The structure of BIDs and their proven success make them an attractive vehicle for external bodies to invest in. The business owners in Stirling have a real opportunity to get a lot of extra money invested in their area, over and above the investment they would be making themselves.’ - David Gowen 

The Steering Group published examples of additional funding collected by other BIDs across Scotland in the Go Forth Business Plan to illustrate the opportunity.

City/Town           5 Year Levy Income         Additional External Funding
Aberdeen            £4,000,000                     £2,475,000
Crieff                   £500,000                        £205,000
Edinburgh BIDs   £6,209,176                       £973,130
Dunfermline        £868,000                         £485,000
Falkirk                 £930,000                         £465,000

£41.3 million raised by Scottish BIDs since 2008. 
Additional £19.6 million leveraged from external bodies. 47p for every £1.


Voting continues across the proposed BID area until 4th July. Any business who wants more information or would like to discuss the proposals can contact David Gowen at Go Forth Stirling - david@GoForthStirling.co.uk

Download this press release as a PDF

Go Forth Stirling Business Plan

The Go Forth Business Plan is now available for everyone to read. The Plan is the result of extensive consultation with Stirling's city centre businesses over the past ten months. There are three main categories of proposed initiatives; ‘Increasing Footfall and Spend,’ ‘City Environment’ and ‘Business Support.’ The Steering Group have highlighted three WOW initiatives within the Plan, Free City Centre Wi-Fi, the introduction of a Land Train and the launch of a new Winter Festival. Please contact us if you have any questions relating to the plan; ballot papers and a printed copy of the Business Plan will be sent to all ballot holders from 23rd May 2017.

Download Go Forth Business Plan PDF

Cluster Meetings

 

Go Forth Neighbourhood Meetings

The first stage of consultation with local independents, to see if Stirling City Centre’s businesses want a Business Improvement District has been completed by Go Forth Stirling. The survey was presented in person to over 170 affected businesses, with 148 taking part and completing the short series of questions. 

It has produced some interesting findings, the chairman of the steering group behind the campaign Peter Betts, Debenhams Store Manager, said ‘Eighty percent of the companies who completed our stage one survey have all expressed an interest to work more closely with other city centre businesses, which is very encouraging.’ 

He added ‘A Business Improvement District can only be created and go on to thrive with the backing of the majority of those affected, so we are pleased that so many people have expressed a desire to work together.’

A misconception expressed by some of those business surveyed is that the proposed Business Improvement District is a council led initiative and will allow the local authority to reduce services to businesses and the city centre. This is not the case, all of the initiatives provided by a Business Improvement District are additional ones that the have been proposed by the businesses themselves.

The steering group are now moving into the second stage of consultation, this will start with a series of local cluster meetings within each individual area of the city centre. The intention is to have an open forum where businesses can express the needs and desires for their area. The owner of Crema cafe and member of the steering group Alan Rodgers said ‘We have needs on Murray Place that will be quite different to those people in a different part of the city centre. Having just opened our second site within The Stirling Arcade I know how true this is for us. The location of our new cafe definitely has requirements that differ from Crema on Murray Place’.

The steering group will be contacting businesses over the next two weeks and inviting them to attend their local cluster meeting to share their thoughts and experiences. There is still an opportunity to join the steering group and play a part in shaping the BID. Interested parties are invited to make contact with any of the committee members directly or at the upcoming cluster meetings.


Meeting Dates, Times and Locations
16:00 drop in anytime
17:45 to 18:30 group meeting

6th September - Friar Street area
Sable and Flea Coffee Shop

7th September - Murray Place & King Street
Crema Coffee Shop

13th September - Port Street & Upper Craigs
Kilted Kangeroo

14th September - Barton Street area
La Ciociara restaurant

Download this as a pdf

 

Go Forth

 

The Campaign Starts

The campaign to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in Stirling City centre narrowly missed being voted in last year. The proposal was introduced by a group of local business leaders from independent and national companies. All of them want to help make Stirling City centre a better place to visit, live and work in.

Their determination and passion to improve Stirling meant they didn’t give up on the BID idea, instead they reviewed the original proposals, surveying over 100 of the ratepayers who voted first time round. This research combined with their original ideas about improving the city convinced them once again that Stirling City Centre businesses would benefit from the introduction of a Business Improvement District. They have taken the decision to launch a new campaign for a Business Improvement District in Stirling and have started the required consultation with affected ratepayers within the BID area.

The BID steering group operate entirely separately from Stirling Council and the Scottish Government, a popular misconception is that this is a ‘council led scheme’ replacing services delivered by the council, it is not. The council will collect the BID levy on behalf of the Business Improvement District but this is immediately transferred to the BID Company, formed after a successful vote.

A Business Improvement District raises funds for an agreed programme of initiatives that are determined by the ratepayers and BID steering group during the consultation period. These initiatives are all laid out in the business plan, produced after the consultation. They are funded by the ratepayers paying a small percentage levy of their property’s rateable value (RV), in this case no more than 1.25% for properties with a RV over £10000 per annum. The levy is payable in two six monthly payments.

The collective that is a Business Improvement District creates a very powerful, cohesive group of businesses and organisations. This single body can deliver ideas not usually possible to the individual ratepayer alone. It has a single voice when lobbying local and national government and can attract inward investment because of its unique structure. As proven in other BID areas it can also deliver real value and savings to its members, an example of this is group purchasing schemes that often result in savings that add up to more than the annual cost of the levy!

The BID steering group want to help stimulate Stirling City centre making it thrive and become a more vibrant and successful place. The day-to-day pressures on businesses and the current difficult market conditions make a Business Improvement District in Stirling a more attractive proposal than ever.

The steering group are looking for all businesses within the proposed Business Improvement District area to engage with the consultation and play their part in shaping the BID business plan. Interested parties are invited to make contact with any of the committee members.

Download this as a pdf