ew 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.
Please get in touch to let me know what content you would like included in the Go Forth Newsletter?
- 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.