Go Forth Stirling Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith has been awarded a Diploma in BID Leadership.
Ms McRorie-Smith is one of just 15 DiBL graduates in the UK so far and achieved the qualification after completing a three-month-course administered by industry organisation British BIDs. The rigorous online training programme was considered by the Go Forth Board and Ms McRorie-Smith as key to ensuring good governance for Stirling’s BID as it approaches its second five-year term.
The course focused on key managerial areas – people, money, law, governance and communications – and was delivered by tutors with experience of working within the BID industry. McRorie-Smith said: “I’m pleased to have been able to undertake this course and be awarded the Leadership Diploma which is a first for us at Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District (BID). It was a useful course for anyone who leads a BID with sessions full of key lessons and industry practice which complemented and advanced our own knowledge and experience.”
“As BID leaders, we need to have knowledge in so many areas of business – ranging from people management and governance to employment law and effective external communications. The Board and I really felt the Leadership Diploma was an essential course for me to ensure we have good governance going forward and to guarantee we approach our second term with more knowledge and awareness than before.”
She added: “Being able to share experiences with the other course participants, who are all running BIDS across the country, was also worthwhile and provided the opportunity to build an invaluable network of fellow BID professionals to work with and learn from.”
Ms McRorie-Smith and Go Forth’s Community Engagement Officer Jitka Fleglova have, between them, also completed a number of other BID-specific training courses in the past year. The aim is to ensure the two-person team leading Stirling’s BID are efficient BID managers and to give them the opportunity to learn from other more established UK BIDs.
Stirling’s BID launched in September 2017 and is nearing the end of its first term making it a relatively new BID compared to those which were set up soon after BIDs were introduced to the UK just over 15 years ago. Business Improvement Districts are business-led partnerships which are created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to local businesses.
They can be a powerful tool for directly involving businesses in local activities and initiatives and allow the business community and local authorities to work together to improve their trading environment. They cover a defined area and business rate payers pay a levy which is then used to develop projects which directly benefit businesses in the local area.
Go Forth Stirling BID was set up in 2017 and currently represents more than 600 local businesses with a key objective of delivering projects and services which improve Stirling’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors.
The company will go to ballot next Spring in the hope of securing a further five-year term. A successful renewal ballot will allow the BID to continue delivering initiatives for Stirling’s business community and to fund current projects such as the Street Stories scheme; the Independent Stirling campaign celebrating independent businesses; the delivery of free online training courses plus the provision of digital and shopfront improvement grants.