Website URL : http://www.cherwell.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=9834

News and events

Banbury Business Improvement District (BID)

Background

The Council was approached by the Banbury Chamber of Commerce to request that Cherwell District Council support a proposal to assess the potential for establishing a Business Improvement District (BID) in central Banbury.

From visits to the BIDs at Leamington and Rugby, plus discussions with the Stratford upon Avon BID about their approaches to town marketing, event organisation and street scene improvements, it was apparent that a BID might offer an opportunity to help strengthen the economy of the town centre of Banbury.

It could also help build on the Council's work to promote the vitality of the town centre and its funding of the town team co-ordination role, managed by the economic growth service, to assist the Council across many of its services such as licencing, planning, events and car parking.

Further details are shown at: https://banburybid.com/

Full legislative background is shown at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/business-improvement-districts

Timeline

  •  November 2016 - Decision to proceed with BID and creation of shadow BID Board.
  •  January to August 2017 - Business liaison and consultation on proposed Business Plan.
  •  May 2017  - Notification to Secretary of State and Billing Authority of intention to hold a ballot.
  •  June 2017 - Notification to Billing Authority of Business Plan.
  •  August 2017 - Notice of ballot.
  •  September 2017 - Business Plan launched.
  •  October 2017 - Ballot papers issued.
  •  November 2017 - Ballot Day.
  •  November 2017 to April 2018 - Formation of Board of Directors, appointment of staff and BID begins operation.

Various projects and events run and supported by Cherwell District Council contribute to the development of the local economy: please see below and also the downloads to the right hand side of this page for further details and information.

Summer 2017: Are you the scale-up star we're searching for?

This year Oxford Innovation is celebrating 30 years of supporting ambitious entrepreneurs by running a UK-wide competition to identify and support the most promising scale-up stars of the future. Winners will receive a tailored support package from Oxford Innovation.

1st prize: Worth up to £10,000

  • Workspace support; private/shared/lab/virtual office space
  • 30 hours of professional coaching support from specialists at Oxford Innovation
  • Introductions to investors for free and
  • Potential for SEIS/EIS investment

2nd prize: Worth up to £5,000

  • Workspace support; private/shared/lab/virtual office space
  • 20 hours of professional coaching support from specialists at Oxford Innovation
  • Introductions to investors for free and
  • Potential for SEIS/EIS investment

3rd prize: Worth up to £2,500

  • Workspace support; private/shared/lab/virtual office space
  • 5 hours of professional coaching support from specialists at Oxford Innovation
  • Introductions to investors for free and potential for SEIS/EIS investment

For more information about how to get involved, apply and even nominate a scale-up business, visit the business competition page of our website. Oxford Innovation: shaping the future, celebrating the past.

Banbury runner-up in Great British High Street awards 2016

Banbury was in the group of three finalists in the Town Centre category of Great British High Street competition 2016. Independent retailers in the town got behind a well-supported campaign and encouraged the public to vote for Banbury.  Although the town was not the overall category winner, losing out to Blackburn in Lancashire, Banbury seized the opportunity to showcase the independent retail offer and community spirit which gives the town a unique sense of place. Judge Deborah Owen-Ellis Clark, British Land's Head of Retail Marketing recognised the strength of the application, commenting "Although Banbury didn't win, they should be extremely proud of being finalists in this year's Great British High Street competition. We were very impressed with the work being done by Cherwell District Council and they deserve their runner's up prize and the knowledge that they're amongst the best high streets in Britain."

Banbury was also represented in the competition by the Artery, an independent art shop from  Banbury's Old Town which was selected as one of three finalists in the Twitter category of the competition, recognised for their creative use of Twitter to communicate with their customer base.

You Tube Videos from the Banbury Town Centre and Artery campaigns can be viewed here.

Support for Cherwell businesses 

Cherwell businesses are eligible for support from both the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

Services provided by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership include Oxfordshire Business Support, with free advice for starting and expanding businesses. They have specialist advisors for different employment sectors.

Services provided by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership include the Velocity Growth Hub with free one-to-one advice; business development grants of up to £50,000; and local workshops on key growth issues. For more details, download the Velocity leaflet on the right, or call the Velocity Helpline on 0300 4563565.

Potential new town trading partnership for Banbury

Cherwell has appointed advisors to investigate the possibility of creating a Business Improvement District (BID) in Banbury town centre. The move follows an appeal from local business leaders. Press release

In a Business Improvement District, businesses pool funds to back projects which stimulate their local high street. Advisors from Heartflood will soon begin investigating how popular the idea is with Banbury's business people; their support would be needed to establish a BID.

Cllr Lynn Pratt, Cherwell District Council's Lead Member for Estates and the Economy, said: "Our ambition is to make Banbury the best it can be for shoppers and businesses alike. A Business Improvement District is one way of boosting retail in the town centre.

"Cherwell is committed to investigating ways in which it can support the long-term growth and vitality of our town centres, so we are keen to gauge the community's response to the idea of establishing a Business Development District."

The move to commission the feasibility study was a response by Cherwell to a direct request from Banbury Chamber of Commerce. South-midlands-based company Heartflood won the contract following a competitive tendering process.

Heartflood's Chris Gregory said: "We are delighted to have been selected to carry out the feasibility study for Banbury and are looking forward to talking to as many town centre businesses as possible in the coming weeks to understand their thoughts and aspirations for the town."

The BID would be run as an independent legal entity by business people, who would decide how to spend the money levied from them. BIDs are empowered to support the local economy in ways that local authorities are not. Although local authorities collect BID levies along with existing business rates, legislation prevents BIDs from duplicating or replacing local authority services.

The feasibility study considered the activities a BID might undertake and how they would benefit Banbury. It ran from 20 June 2016 through to September 2016.

Heartflood's Chris Gregory is seeking the views of Banbury town centre businesses. Interested parties can contact him on 07854 027080 or chris@heartflood.co.uk.

The very latest information, including a comprehensive Feasibility Study document, are available to view and download on the right-hand side of this page.

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