All the Ps are coming together for Penrith in November when local businesses will have the opportunity to vote in favour of the town’s bid proposal to become a Business Improvement District (BID).
Over the past year local businesses have been canvassed for their opinions about how they would like to use money generated through a ‘Business Levy’ on a percentage of their rateable values to improve the town over the next five years, if the BID proposal was approved.
Local business owner Kelvin Dixon and Member of the Shadow Board for the Business Improvement District Bid, said: “A ‘Yes’ vote in favour of establishing a Business Improvement District for Penrith would be real catalyst for change. It has the potential to generate £500,000 over the next five years to deliver the ideas local businesses have put forward to realise the town’s potential. The cost of backing the BID for the majority Penrith’s small businesses would be only around £0.50 per day, or the price of a packet of crisps!”
Over the next two to three weeks, businesses in the town will be delivered a Summary Document containing the full proposals and explaining the main aims of the Business Improvement District for Penrith. They will also be given means to see a full Business Plan either online or be able to see a copy at selected locations such as the Town Hall or Library etc.
The key aims of the BID are split into four Ps under the strapline ‘Release Penrith’s Potential’:
Promote Penrith – A comprehensive marketing campaign to ensure that the town’s retail offer translates into an improved identity and perception of the town to boost sales and the experience of customers and visitors.
This would be delivered through three projects including:
A five year targeted marketing campaign for the town
Improving the use of social and online media for 400 businesses
Contributing funding to support festivals and events in Penrith
Pride in Penrith – Has three distinct elements:
A new partnership between businesses community groups and local Councils to plan and deliver the maintenance of town centre floral displays and a programme to improve and maintain the public realm.
Supporting the community-led ‘Greening Penrith Initiative Project’ that adds and colour and brightness to the town centre.
A new ‘townscape initiative’ that pump-primes community-led projects using arts, culture and heritage to generate pride in the town.
Park in Penrith – In partnership with the District Council, the Penrith BID will contribute to the trial of new car parking initiatives cost effective promotions to make it easier and more affordable to access the town centre.
Professional Penrith – this would be achieved through three key projects:
Business Training – Investing in customer service initiatives to build on the high standards of service offered in Penrith’s specialist shops.
Business Networking – To highlight local expertise and to encourage trading and knowledge and services within the BID area.
Better deals – Using economies of scale to benefit businesses by centrally negotiating deals for better services such as insurance, decoration, trade waste etc.
Eden District Councillor David Whipp, who Champions Penrith’s business community said: “This is the best opportunity Penrith have ever had to be the master of their own destiny. For the first time Penrith businesses have a real opportunity to come together and spend money on things decided solely by them without interference from anyone else. It is a one off opportunity for them to make things better. It could not be better timing in this difficult economic climate.
“The District Council are pleased to be supporting the business community in the delivery of this exciting project.”
The BID process is being supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, which provided the funding for the BID Co-ordinator. The project is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas, which is managed by DEFRA.
For more information about the Penrith Business Improvement District BID Co-ordinator Chris Kolek telephone: 07900 608085 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the Proposal Summary for the Penrith Business Improvement District BID.
Notes to Editors:
For more information contact the Communication Officer at Eden District Council telephone: 01768 212137.