Canterbury BID: It’s a ‘YES’ from Leydon!
10 Jul 2014
Find out why Leydon are voting “YES” for the Canterbury BID.
Canterbury is a beautiful city but graffiti, chewing gum, lack of floral displays in summer and Christmas decorations in winter all make the city less attractive. The general appearance of Canterbury can be enhanced for everyone. We need an environment that is clean, safe and welcoming from early morning to late at night, making Canterbury a great place to visit and a place where people want to stay longer.
Canterbury is a city under pressure. It not only has the highest proportion of students to residents (1:1.4) in Europe but also the second highest number of visitors to residents (155:1). And whilst this generates year round footfall (which has helped Canterbury survive the recession better than most), and an enviable premises vacancy rate at below 6 per cent, it nonetheless places pressure on the city and its ability to manage the fabric and infrastructure.
How will the BID help Canterbury?
- Promote Canterbury – Create a Partnership to oversee the ‘whole city’ marketing strategy and develop a collaborative approach to marketing the city to key customer segments and grow overnights stays which are the most valuable visitor segment.
- Deliver a shared story and collaborative marketing – Develop the Shared Story for Canterbury, to enhance the city’s branding. A clear city-identity will help attract more visitors and clients. A Shared Story conveys what is special and different about the city and is designed for use in marketing communications; it will be made available for use by every business in the city.
- Events and Festivals – Invest in existing events and festivals, and develop new ones, ensuring that they benefit levy payers directly in driving footfall and profitability.
- Christmas Lights – Provide Christmas decorations and events to create ‘The Canterbury Christmas’.
- Improve key entry points to the City – Review and implement a way finding and information strategy, making it easier for people to navigate Canterbury and discover its unique independent offer.
- A volunteer welcome programme – Develop and provide a professional welcome on the streets of the city, with a focus on offering this opportunity to local people to support their skills development and employability.
- Provide additional cleaning services –Provide additional cleaning services to complement those already provided by the City Council.
- Improve the subways – Work with Canterbury City Council (CCC) and Kent County Council (KCC) to develop a programme of regular cleansing and look at how to increase the ‘sense of safety’ for users at all times. The BID will be clear not to invest resource in areas that are the accountability of the statutory agencies.
- Floral displays – Invest in significant floral displays each summer to enhance the street scene.
- Invest in a safer city– Work with District Watch and Kent Police to reduce retail crime, street crime and anti-social behaviour.
- Support the evening/late night economy – Ensure that the city builds on its reputation as a ‘great night out’.
- BID Ambassadors – Deploy a team of BID Street Ambassadors to support, liaise and communicate with levy payers; to work with the statutory authorities on issues raised by levy payers; and to provide a welcome to visitors at busy times and during events.
- Business support – Support and promote independent businesses by building on the business start-up programme StartmyBiz, help develop a new programme called GrowmyBiz to provide guidance and advice on growing your business, and join the national Independent Retail campaign.
- Business to Business events – Deliver events to develop commercial opportunities for levy payers locally. The BID will have a policy of local purchasing where possible. • Cost reduction initiatives – Provide a free service to help reduce utility costs for relevant BID levy payers.
- Business promotion – Develop the MyCanterbury platform as a marketing and loyalty opportunity for levy payers.
- Training – The BID will offer on-going training and support, free to levy payers, on a range of topics.
- Landlord forum– Engage with landlords to discuss relevant issues, in particular, how the city can further develop and support the independent retail offer and release fallow space for new uses.
- Project funding – Make funds available to respond to new opportunities that may arise e.g. developing local business associations to create a healthy and vibrant business community.
- Digital strategy for Canterbury – Work with key partners on developing a digital strategy to ensuring Canterbury’s businesses are able to compete digitally.
- Transport and parking – Consult with businesses and influence transport and parking plans to ensure that they are appropriate for a major retail, business service and visitor location.
- Co-ordination and lobbying – Work with CCC, KCC, Kent Police and other bodies to ensure the city is coordinated, operates well and make sure that the levy payers’ interests are represented positively and that city centre businesses are included in vital decision making.
- Canterbury Connected conference – Develop a bi-annual Canterbury Connected conference, bringing together the leaders from organisations across the city to ensure that Canterbury is at the forefront of current thinking on the issues that will be critical for a successful city.
Connected City, better for everyone
Canterbury is a great city but we don’t always communicate or work together as well as we could. The BID would make sure that everything it delivers is as ‘joined up’ as possible and that citywide communication is at the heart of everything that happens.
Leydon Lettings is very much in favour of the Canterbury BID. Christmas lights, more flowers, more marshals, cleaner streets – all for a miserly 1.5 % more on rates – bring it on!