The Committee is requested to note the report relating to Chichester Business Improvement District (BID).
Mrs Murphy was joined by Mr Colin Hicks, the Chairman of Chichester Business Improvement District (BID).
Mr Hicks introduced the report. He explained that since last year a review of the operation of the BID, its team and board had resulted in a greater emphasis being placed on levy payers. He then outlined a number of key projects:
· The Christmas programme of events for 2018.
· Finding a resolution to the on street parking issues.
· The introduction of a number of city trails to encourage visitors to the shops and businesses located on the side streets of the city centre.
· The launch of a Chichester gift card to provide spending money in a number of shops and establishments in the city centre (the gift card is available for purchase internationally with spending restrictions requiring the recipient to visit the city in order to spend the gift card).
Mr Hicks confirmed that he had as yet been unable to resolve the problems relating to promotional boards and signage. He explained that the owners of businesses where ‘A’ boards were removed have reported a 40% decline in footfall. Mr Hicks then explained that Chichester’s high street is viewed as resilient due to its profile for culture, heritage and increasingly its cafe culture.
Mr Hicks responded to members questions. He clarified that the introduction of parking incentives would be a way to provide support to local businesses to combat the national parking perception problem. He confirmed that the abbreviation (GVA) stands for Gross Value Added and relates to the amount of income coming in to a business, the amount spent and the overall profit made. With regard to the City Rangers, the scheme was established following the change to policing methods and although the City Rangers have no legal powers to enforce the law they have successfully acted as a deterrent to prevent crime on several occasions. The scheme has been extended until 31 March 2019 with additional funding from the City Council but Mr Hicks hoped that funding could be secured further. With regard to the supply of overnight accommodation in the city Mr Hicks confirmed that the BID would welcome initiatives to provide additional hotels in the local area. With regard to investment in local businesses £45,000 has been invested in independent businesses through mentoring and shop front grants. Mr Hicks clarified that the creation of community hubs in empty shops has worked elsewhere but would require support from CDC in order to provide access to the empty buildings. With regard to destination retail shops he confirmed that a number of larger retailers had expressed interest in Chichester if the right site became available. Mr Hicks confirmed that the BID levy is calculated on business rates not business rate relief. With regard to data collection the BID use ‘Noggin’ to run a triangulated mobile phone counter to identify mobile phone signals as they enter the city centre. The software does not record individual telephone numbers or mobile phones that are switched off but gathers information to identify whether a signal has visited the city before. With regard to Chichester train station, train line services and general accessibility to the city centre Mr Hicks confirmed that the BID would welcome any initiatives to improve the current situation.
Members then suggested that Mr Hicks arrange publicity for the work of the City Rangers as many residents will be unaware of their work.
Following a request from Mr Ransley, Mrs Murphy agreed to circulate statistics relating to the use of the Christmas Park and Ride service.
Mr Ransley proposed that officers prepare a report to the Cabinet and the Council in conjunction with the BID team to address the challenges identified in the report (and at this meeting) and advise Council how they could be mitigated or maximised. Caroline Neville seconded by proposal which was carried.
1. That the report relating to Chichester Business Improvement District (BID) be noted.
2. That officers prepare a report to the Cabinet and the Council in conjunction with the BID team to address the challenges identified in the report (and at this meeting) and advise the Council how they could be mitigated or maximised.
The Chairman thanked Mr Hicks for attending.