As the new BID starts & with 2 Board meetings in a month, the new BID Board is now seeking to quickly move forward on its business plan across each area.
As part of the ongoing review of the cost base, & after a thorough review of potential options, the BID office will be moving in October to Pilgrim House. This over the lifetime of the BID will save the levy payers approximately £90,000.
‘The offices space is fit for purpose & allows meetings to be held
on site’ said BID chair Richard Lamb.
In view of the volume of work that needs to be done over a short period of time, the BID Board has been working on developing the Zonal approach for the town highlighted in the Business Plan. The Zones are anticipated to be launched by the end of the October and will ensure that every levy payer has a voice as well as a contact point nearby.
The BID Board is also looking to set up a number of sub-committees focusing on specific areas to ensure that we can encourage as many levy payers to engage and participate in developing Weymouth’s BID plans to ensure effectiveness for all levy payers.
These range from events to heritage, from policing to marketing.
‘In both important areas, we hope to be able to move forward within the next few days & start to engage with the levy payers’, said Richard.
The award of the Purple Flag, is an excellent recognition of all the work that has been done across the board and by a number of partners, it provides a template for how the town can work together.
Work is being undertaken with the Town Centre Manager & the Council to understand the role of the BID in supporting the development & improvement of the Night Time Economy strategic plan.
It is disappointing that improvements that were committed by the council to improve the navigation around the town have not been delivered, but at the recent Town Centre meeting it was recognised that this is a priority & the BID will keep on pushing to have that delivered.
The BID is also in discussions with the Police & Council to support the role out of the CSAS officers and ensure that the KPIs are visible to everyone.
The approach taken by the Board over the last few weeks, has been to re-build the marketing plan focusing on what the role of the BID is within the marketing of the town to the local community & wider afield. The plan is to present this to the levy payers within the next 2-3 weeks to inform them of what is being done in this important area.
A core element of the marketing plan is events & making sure that they are cost effective.
Whilst we are working on proposals for Halloween & Christmas, the decision was taken to suspend this year’s FEAST. This was not an easy decision to take, and is planned to be launched in the New Year under the banner of ‘We Love Food’.
‘The costs involved & the lack of time to deliver the initiative to create maximum value for levy payers, meant that we couldn’t engage with as many levy payers as we wanted including coffee shops. The desire is to provide a template twice a year in the shoulder periods (March to June & September to November) which encourages people to visit the town & enjoy the vast array of excellent eateries available’, said Richard Lamb.
In terms of events for 2019, there are a number of excellent proposals that are being worked on or put forward, and it is planned to include these within the proposed marketing plan communication.
With regard to the management of the marketing activity online & offline, the Board is auditing what needs to be delivered & how it is delivered. It is anticipated that shortly a tender document for agencies will be published to undertake that work.
With the appointment of Matt Prosser as the Chief Executive of the Unitary Body, the BID can now start to work with the relevant bodies to understand how the Town Council & the Unitary Body will work.
A huge amount of work has been undertaken to ensure that the visibility of discussions & work undertaken by the Board is supported by the correct governance, with meetings & minutes being published on the BID website.
The Board us reviewing how to communicate issues to the levy payers, recognising workloads & interest levels.
Jonathan Oldroyd has recently joined the Board from Gloucester House, bringing a huge amount of experience & the search for new Board members continues.
‘The last few weeks have been very busy for the Board, despite & in spite of Summer Holidays. There is a huge amount of work to be undertaken in a very short period of time & we are working to provide means of engaging with as many levy payers as possible through Zones & sub-committees. Everyone is committed to making BID 2 work in the way everyone wants it to work & that we levy payers have a voice as the world around us changes with the Town Council & Unitary,’ said Richard Lamb.