To engage businesses in the creation of a City Centre BID, test feasibility, assist development of BID Proposals, run the ballot campaign and advise on implementing the BID post-ballot. Southampton is preparing for a ballot to set up a new City Centre BID, Go Southampton.
The Means was commissioned in August 2015 by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, with a loan from Southampton City Council, to test the feasibility of a BID in Southampton City Centre and, if feasible, to help businesses deliver a successful BID ballot.
Southampton is a significant city in the south of England but is one of the few remaining major cities without a Business Improvement District. This status is the legacy of a failed BID ballot in 2009 that left the city centre without a Business Improvement District, just as numbers were increasing elsewhere. Today, the wider economic climate is markedly different and the appetite is there to try again.
The means has explored lessons from the attempt in 2009 and has conducted a feasibility study, engaging with over 100 businesses through face-to-face interviews and a large, well-attended event to discuss a future vision for the BID. Out of this work, a strong and enthusiastic Steering Group has emerged who The means have helped to develop more detailed BID Proposals in preparation for submission to the local billing authority. In October, the BID ballot will be held and The means will be heavily involved in the run up to this, helping to organize PR and run a successful campaign.
Southampton already has a lot to be proud of, but its City Centre has the potential to be competing on a national rather than a regional level. We are proud to be working in such a significant city, with a BID of such high ambitions, and look forward to helping it through a successful ballot campaign.