Plans To Be Unveiled For a St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) Re-Ballot
The Business Improvement District (BID) proposals for the future of the St Peters Quarter area of Derby city centre will be officially launched at an event on Monday January 16.
Since the decision was made to re-ballot businesses for the BID following the 50/50 split vote last summer, a strategic working group involving local business representatives has reviewed plans to breathe new life into the core retail area between the Cathedral Quarter and Intu Derby shopping centre, Ballot papers will be issued on Thursday January 26 with the ballot closing on Thursday February 23 at 5pm and the results announced the following day. If successful, the new five-year BID will start on Saturday April 1.
The key objectives of the BID will be funded by a budget of around £1 million paid for by a levy from businesses
Four objectives have been outlined in the plan which were highlighted as the most important priorities by local businesses.
- To provide a safe and inviting environment for visitors, workers and residents to enjoy.
This is where the majority of the budget will be going, working with the Police and the local authority to address some of the key challenges which impact upon businesses and visitors to the area on a day to day basis.
- To make the area smart and attractive and encourage a sense of pride in St Peters Quarter.
The proposal acknowledges that there are some fundamental challenges here but it will be important to influence and encourage long over-due investment into the area. The BID also promises to invest in improvements to the way the area looks and feels with simple projects such as floral displays and Christmas lights.
- To create and enjoyable and easily accessible place to explore for visitors workers and residents.
. This is related to making the area more pleasant to walk around. At the moment there are many issues which deter people from visiting the area.
- To celebrate and promote the area and build the reputation of St Peters Quarter as a great place to shop, relax and be entertained..
The area has amazing potential but needs some care and pride restoring to it as an important part of Derby city centre’s retail and leisure offer.
New Board Chair Helen Wathall, Managing Director of independent funeral directors G Wathall & Son in Macklin Street, explained: “When faced with the split vote of last summer’s ballot, many businesses were dismayed at the result and the consequent loss of many of the services and support we had come to value over the last five years.
“The Rangers, who were highly valued and provided a dedicated service to businesses, disappeared, the Christmas Lights in many parts of St Peters Quarter were not erected and the knowledge that we could come together through a collective organisation was no longer a reality.
“As a result of a split vote by number, with only a 40% turnout, and many businesses only realising belatedly the significance of the result, the Board felt it was the right thing to provide businesses across St Peters Quarter an opportunity to have a further vote.
“We all recognise that the area has some deep rooted challenges which were never going to be solved overnight. However, besides the immediate support we gained from Rangers, promotion and events for example, we made considerable in-roads into influencing key decisions which started to address some of the structural challenges of the area.
“A BID acts as a catalyst which brings businesses together. The projects and initiatives in the proposal and business plan aim to address both the immediate challenges we face on a day to day basis and exert real influence on addressing the more deep rooted challenges of the area, such as our experience of walking down the street and the structural issue of Becketwell.
“This is a realistic plan with realistic targets at a realistic cost. It is our last chance to come together and really tackle the issues which impact upon our businesses.”