Tag Archives: BID

Chichester BID reports on work to deliver the Chichester Vision

Work to deliver the priorities set out in the Chichester Vision will shift up a gear thanks to a detailed action plan which sets out timescales and responsibilities.

The Chichester Vision looks ahead over the next 20 years and brings together a wealth of ideas that have been put forward by individuals, groups and organisations across the city.

The aim is to help Chichester attract inward investment and stimulate economic growth by making the most of its heritage and culture, while also adapting to better meet the needs of residents, workers, visitors, and students.

Priorities are to reduce traffic, support independent businesses and create a more diverse evening culture

The Vision was formally adopted this year by Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council, Chichester City Council and the board of Chichester BID (Business Improvement District). A Steering Group will oversee the delivery plan which states what the short and medium term goals are.

Four of the main Vision projects have been identified as part of the newly announced Growth Deal for Chichester. These are schemes which will require close partnership working between Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council.

These include the Southern Gateway, Northern Gateway, West Sussex Gigabit Project, and a City Centre Transport Feasibility Study. This study, which is being led by WSCC, is a crucial piece of work as a number of other Vision projects are connected to it.

“This is a very exciting time and there is a strong sense of people working together to help achieve this Vision,” says Councillor Tony Dignum, Leader of Chichester District Council. “It is extremely positive that the lead projects have been identified in the Growth Deal. By prioritising them and providing resources it shows everyone is committed and serious about making them happen.

“Meanwhile, the Vision Steering Group’s focus will be on much smaller projects but which share the objective of making the city more attractive to users of all ages: residents, visitors, workers and students.

“Typical examples of such projects are: improved wayfinding, more cycle racks and benches, Priory Park building refurbishment, and an improved tourism offer. We are delighted that a funding bid to the West Sussex pooled business rates has been successful. This funding will be used to help improve shop fronts in the city and we will have more detail about this at the beginning of next year.

“Of course, it’s important to remember that the Chichester Vision is a long term look at the city, so it will take time to achieve everything that has been set out. We have made an excellent start and I want to reassure people that they will be updated regularly on progress as we move these projects forward.”

Released by BID 5 December 2017

Chichester BID Open Meeting and the aim to increase visitors to Chi

The Chichester Business Improvement District ran an open meeting on 12 October where the future direction of BID was outlined as were the plans for the 2017 Christmas Campaign for Chichester.











Colin Hicks, the Chair of Chichester BID (shown speaking  above) explained the changes in the BID’s organisation and the new focus for the BID Team on driving footfall and leading efforts to improve the dwell-times of visitors to the City. The BID area is funded by the businesses themselves and several BID members have responded to calls to propose ideas to promote the City, three of which will be trialled in the Xmas period. Plans include several nights of mulled wine, mince pies and chestnuts at The Cross and various choristers and performances. The Christmas Lights Switch On (sponsored by Bray Associates) and Firework display (sponsored by Woodland Crafts Events Management) is on November 23  from 5pm.

The BID Team now also enjoy an improving relationship with both public and private partners and is consulted about wider issues of importance to members, such as the Chichester Vision, and tourism and transport policies that are relevant to the City Centre.

Analysis of footfall is undertaken using mobile data. Chichester BID has dedicated footfall cameras along with fourteen sensors that count mobile phones passing in the area within the City centre. These allow us to monitor what brings people into Chichester and where these people go. The sensors have been designed from the ground-up specifically to prevent personal data from being collected. The data is collected by Springboard UK & Noggin.

Cllr Roger Barrow, cabinet member for Chichester District Council, presented a trial ‘Against Litter’ Campaign that he is leading, which will begin in a month’s time. The leaflet to be used can be viewed here.

Janet Tuckett was introduced, who had previously worked for Chichester BID and returns as the members’ part-time Ambassador. This is a new role which involves working with BID area businesses to keep them informed about what is happening in the City and help promote their special events or promotional offers. Janet will also be very much the BID area’s eyes and ears, on hand to assist with any issues businesses may have, as they arise and ensuring these are taken up quickly and dealt with. This will include leading the BID Team in the pursuit of these concerns with the local Councils or other relevant agencies.

Further information about Chichester BID can be found at their website.

Chichester’s BID creates a buoyant City Centre

We speak with Chairman Colin Hicks about the Business Improvement District

Newsletter readers may remember Chichester’s BID received a boost just before last Christmas. A ballot among city centre retailers and other business resulted in a clear majority in favour of BID continuing its work to improve the city centre for everyone. On this hopeful foundation BID’s management board has been taking stock of its contribution to Chichester life.

The Chichester BID – some background

Business Improvement Districts, or more simply BIDs, are partnerships between all the organisations and individuals who want lively and successful city and town centres. They started in Canada over 40 years ago, came to Britain in 2004 and began at Chichester in 2012. This is because BIDs are regarded as making a positive difference, injecting management and money to build a hopeful future. BIDs are funded by a levy on those paying non-domestic rates. They must be agreed by a ballot of local businesses and are renewed every five years. That’s why there was a ballot in Chichester last autumn: the first five years – BID 1 – had expired. The numbers involved are perhaps surprising: in the Chichester BID area (within the City Walls) are over 700 businesses: about half are retail (shops) and a fifth offer food or drink; the rest provide commercial and inter-business services.

What has Chichester’s BID achieved?

Most obviously, the Christmas lights! The 2016 switch-on attracted our largest crowd ever. Less obvious are the many behind-the-scene activities to increase the city centre’s viability. For example, installing new digital ‘footflow’ counters to monitor ‘people movement’ – knowing whether numbers are rising or falling is important. The BID also promotes Chichester and its events and attractions by regional advertising to encourage visitors. When they arrive we help them get orientated. Have you noticed the many map boards in car parks? They are there because of BID. And have you noticed the leaflet-style street maps in purpose-designed dispensers around the city centre? BID printed 150,000. It’s a small thing, but a free street map can be really helpful to visitors. A last example of behind-the-scenes efforts is improving the city centre’s security – it’s called Chichester Businesses Against Crime (ChiBAC) and has been quietly successful.

One of Chichester BID’s initiatives is to use flags to enliven the street-scene (Photo: Chichester BID)

Chichester’s city centre is changing

It will not have escaped your notice that pedestrian streets everywhere are changing. Shopping is migrating to the Internet which now accounts for some 17% of UK retail spending. So there are fewer shoppers on the nation’s high streets, Chichester included. But those still coming seek other opportunities whilst in town: coffee, a meal, visit an exhibition; take a stroll around the park. This is a shopping experience you cannot get on the Internet: knowledgeable personal service often from an independent retailer, the chance to try on clothes, an impulse buy at the farmers’ market.

Keep those tills ringing!

Chichester has plenty to offer residents’ and visitors’ changing habits and tastes. In retail jargon this city is a ‘multiple shopping destination’ but it’s also a town with a successful University and College; and it’s alive with arts, culture and heritage of national importance. Over the next five years 2017-22 the BID 2 team will continue to maintain partnerships with local government and others like the Chamber of Commerce and Visit Chichester. The BID’s task is straightforward: to increase the city centre’s viability and keep those tills ringing!

(This article appears in the June 2017 Society Newsletter –  join the Society to receive this Newsletter and enjoy other benefits)