Newsletter

April Newsletter to BID Members

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Welcome to Issue 2 of your BID newsletter! Its been a busy few months in the Bid team!

Land Train
Despite a last minute route change, due to the ongoing closure of Murray Place, this was a huge success, with nearly 1,600 customers taking the trip from Corn Exchange Road to the Castle and return. We conducted nearly 500 surveys over the four days and a separate report will be produced, this will also conclude whether operating this throughout the year is a viable option.

Promotion was via social media, Google, The List and we obtained great free media coverage from the Observer, Stirling City Radio, Central FM and numerous web sites including evensi and net mums. We also erected 3m tall
signs in 6 locations across the city which also promoted the Chew and Brew food and drink event in the Stirling Arcade.

Digital Marketing (and FREE training)
Destination™; our new digital marketing partner, will be visiting businesses in the next few weeks to introduce themselves and to get content for our new city centre website and social media platforms. This is a free service to all levy payers and in mid-May there will also be a free
training day for all aspects of social media and digital marketing, this is a drop in event and all levy payers are welcome to attend.

Save the Date:
15th May from 10:00 – 16:30

Go Forth Group Buy - Procurement
We will be operating a trial exercise with a procurement specialist to enable businesses to obtain better deals for utilities, merchant services etc. This will be operated directly with levy payers and the company is called Eyebright, who work with several Business Improvement Districts in Scotland and the rest of the UK. This buying power should enable businesses to get much better deals and in some cases could see your bid levy payment saved in just one deal.

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Year Two - Stirling’s Marathon 29th April 2018
This popular event will bring nearly 8,000 participants to Stirling and we would like to provide the runners and spectators with a special welcome. If your business would like to provide a special offer or package for this event please email jon@goforthstirling.co.uk

This will be publicised via the Go Forth communication channels and we will send to the organisers so it can be included in their own communication to participants.

OTHER NEWS

City WiFi
A tender for the installation of free wi-fi for Stirling City Centre will be issued towards the end of April 2018, we will keep you up to date on progress. 

Waste
The number of bins and general clutter on the streets is a major concern, so the first step to making this better will be an audit of all city centre commercial businesses to ascertain how you presently deal with all waste and recycling. This survey will be issued in the next week or so, please help us by completing this and letting us make the city as presentable as possible.

Pubwatch/Purple Flag
Chaired by Danielle McRorie Smith of the Fubar, it is hoped Pubwatch will launch this month. This powerful collaborative initiative will help Stirling provide an even better evening experience and is a first step towards to the city obtaining ‘Purple Flag’ accreditation

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January Newsletter to BID Members

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New Appointment - Go Forth Stirling BID Director
Go Forth Stirling are delighted to announce that we have managed to secure Jon Walton as our BID Director. Jon has worked the length and breadth of the UK and has a wealth of experience. We feel it’s a significant coup for Stirling that we have been able to appoint him to lead the Go Forth Stirling projects. Jon lives locally so this move will bring him back closer to his family as he has been commuting weekly down to Southampton! 

A Brief Introduction From Jon
‘I am delighted to be returning to Scotland as BID Director for Go Forth Stirling, after a few years in England running one of the most established BIDS in Plymouth and a new one in Southampton. I think Stirling has huge potential and the BID can generate a collaborative approach that will ensure it will fulfil this potential. I do have a lot of experience of retail, food and drink and crucially destination management over the last 30 years, which I hope will bring real benefits to Stirling and its businesses. I have lived in Scotland for nearly 20 years and am really looking forward to getting started in Stirling in January. To deliver real benefit I need your support, I can’t do it on my own, Collaboration is the way
we will succeed.

I have met with a few businesses already and it is clear there is a real passion to make Stirling better and that businesses need to pull together as one to help achieve this.’

If you would like to get in touch with Jon his contact details are below, he would also be happy to visit you in person.

Communications
Phone: 07541 814582
Email: Jon@GoForthStirling.co.uk
Web: GoForthStirling.co.uk
Social: Facebook and Twitter

Content Suggestions?
Please get in touch to let me know what content you
would like included in the Go Forth Newsletter?


BID Objectives

  • Improve the economic opportunities for city centre businesses.
  • Increase footfall in all parts of the BID area.
  • Make the levy cost of the BID ‘cost neutral’ for each paying business; via group procurement initiatives and added value services.
  • Identify and address the specific issues faced by individual sectors.
  • Promote better relationships amongst the BID business community and with Stirling City Council and wider community.
  • Represent the interests of the BID businesses when marketing the city to a local, regional, national and international audience.
  • Align the BID businesses into a strong community that has a unified voice and a well-respected point of view.
  • Support local voluntary groups who’s aims align with the BID


Priorities and Timelines
The three ‘Big Ideas’ in the Business Plan; The City Centre Landtrain, Free WiFi and Winter Festival are already being worked on and updates will be provided when we have more detail. 

Together with this several other initiatives such as group procurement, enhanced social media marketing, training, signature events, better marketing communications, customer research, city ‘interventions’ to improve the environment, including a trail and waste management are just a few of the many things the BID team are working on at present.

It is hoped a detailed timeline will be issued, along with budget allocation, by mid-February.


Kerse Road Bridge Works
Over the past months there have been several press releases detailing the scope of works on the A905 Kerse Road Bridge. The bridge partially closed on the 8th of January and will remain like this until 22nd April, it will then close fully until 30 October. 

We are aware from the previous closures that this could  impact on trading conditions for all businesses and as such have been in discussions with Ryden LLP; who acted on behalf of businesses in Edinburgh to negotiate a reduction in their rates payable during the period of the Tram Works. Ryden could, if businesses wish to, lodge Business Rates appeals, should there be a material change to the trading conditions. They will require input from businesses to display a pattern of reduced turnover to support any appeal.
 
As Go Forth Stirling has organised this, Ryden will offer a reduced fee for their work; as there are multiple businesses facing the same issues. There will obviously be a cost for
this service for each business that chooses to take part, anyone interested should contact Andrew Mitchell for more information at: Andrew@GoForthStirling.co.uk


Go Forth Group Buy
2018 will bring the start of our community buying scheme ‘Go Forth Group Buy,’ where we look at obtaining bulk discounts for businesses within the BID area for utilities, waste collection and credit card machines etc. 

An example is Waste collection; by coming together and consolidating our buying power we can select one supplier for waste collection. This will not only lower the costs for each business but also reduce the volume of lorries in the city centre. Additionally this initiative could greatly reduce the amount of waste lying around throughout the week awaiting different supplier collections. If this would be of interest to you and you think you would like your business to benefit please get in touch with Andrew Mitchell at: Andrew@GoForthStirling.co.uk


BID Levy Collection
The first of the Levy bills were sent out on the 15th of November 2017 to businesses in the BID area. BID levy invoices are issued on GoForth’s behalf by Stirling Council.

The levy is calculated as a 1.25% percentage of the 31st March 2017 Rateable Value figure split over two six
monthly payments.

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Newsletter to BID Members

The Go Forth Stirling BID is funded and managed by the eligible businesses within the city centre. The structure of the BID is a simple one:

• Limited company formed to manage the levy revenue.
• Board of directors appointed to manage BID company.
• BID manager appointed by board of directors.
• The board and BID manager ensure the initiatives
within the Go Forth Business Plan are delivered.

It is best practice and recommended by BIDs Scotland to have at least 12 people on the board of directors. The board is made up by representatives from eligible businesses; those that pay the levy. The Steering Group who have successfully managed Go Forth through to the Yes vote are now the ‘interim board,’ it is there role to appoint the final board of directors and manage any other administrative tasks. Interested parties wishing to put themselves forward to join the board of directors are invited to complete the form overleaf and return it as soon as possible. If you think you have got what it takes to be a proactive director, apply today!

Application Form is within PDF download, scroll to the bottom of this post.

What is Go Forth focussing on now?

Kerse Road Bridge - Closure
Whilst visiting businesses throughout the voting period there was one issue that kept getting discussed, the extended closure of the Kerse road bridge to allow for railway electrification works by Network Rail. The Go Forth interim board will be making representation to Stirling Council and Network Rail on behalf of the city centre businesses, with the aim of reducing the overall timetable of the closure.

The bridge is used by over 20,000 vehicles everyday. The recent closure to allow Network Rail to survey the bridge and surrounding area resulted in many parts of the city centre grinding to a halt at busy times. In addition areas such as Braehead and Riverside saw a spike in through traffic. The increase in traffic also caused longer queues at the Old Bridge roundabout, Causewayhead and Alloa road.

Whilst the electrification of the railway is a welcome enhancement for Stirling’s rail users the works required to achieve this should not have an overly detrimental affect on the city’s businesses. It is important that in any situation of claiming compensation, businesses can prove business affect and damage, so please keep accurate records.

The Go Forth interim board will be seeking an alternative plan from Network Rail that reduces the timetable of the closure and provides better diversions for vehicle users. If you would like to share your thoughts please get in touch, updates will be provided via the Go Forth website.

Local Authority Collaboration
Stirling Council has established a ‘Place Management’ team within the Economic Development department; charged with supporting and stimulating sustainable, economic growth in Stirling city centre and town centres across the district. Go Forth will be working closely with this team to ensure the city centre businesses are represented and involved with decision making.

The Place Management team organised a recent city centre ‘action group’ which will be an additional means of communication for city centre businesses to Stirling Council’s departments. Go Forth have representation in this group and will continue to work closely with the local authority to avoid any duplication of initiatives and deliver the business plan; all being additional goals to local authority statutory services.

The implementation of this department is seen as a positive step by the BID Steering Group. It should allow for a more collaborative relationship between the local authority and other city centre stakeholders.

Company Setup
The interim BID board made up of the Steering Group members are currently setting up the BID limited company and making all the preparations required to formally establish Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District.

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