Business Improvement Districts (BID): What are they and what do they do?
Jacqui Rock is the Business Improvement District (BID) lead for Poole. She has also been a member of the WSX Enterprise board since February 2022. Here, she describes what the function of a BID is and what they do to help the local community and economy.
“A BID is a geographical area in which the local businesses (levy payers) have voted to invest together to improve their environment. This can include enhancements like safety and public realm initiatives through to marketing, events and business support.
My team sit between the local authority and our customers, the levy payers, to fund projects and influence bodies like BCP Council, Dorset Police, regeneration organisations and local community groups to make Poole a better place to explore, experience and enjoy. From increasing footfall to positively impacting our business’s bottom line, we get involved in a vast range of activities.
Collaboration is key and a recent joint venture with Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone, where we are a Board member too, saw us co-funding a project to commission the installation of a mural in the guise of Henry Gosse, who was an English naturalist, populariser of natural science and an early improver of the seawater aquarium who lived in Poole.
Business safety is key and so we are currently working with the other BCP BIDs in Bournemouth and Christchurch to instigate a business crime reduction partnership which will enable the reporting of crime via a mobile app.
Whilst we are not here to replace what BCP Council do, most people are also surprised to learn that we are the ones that install the bunting and hanging baskets across our district and are the instigators of Street Music, Poole too.
As the main sponsor of the new BCP Poole Christmas Maritime Light Trail, we Chair the stakeholder meetings along with partnering with the Poole Business Awards to ensure that our levy payers have the perfect platform to promote themselves.
From other strategic partnerships with local Councillors, Poole Quays Forum, Poole Harbour Commissioners and Legal & General who own the Dolphin Shopping Centre as well as the Destination Management Board, it is crucial that we have oversight for the longer-term plans of the area too so that we can be representative of our levy payer’s needs.
Finally, and most importantly, we are here for our customers to reach out when they require guidance. From facilitating meetings with local authority officers to discuss issues like pavement licences or road closure concerns to maximising grant funding opportunities and other business support initiatives like training and workshops, we are here to be the voice of our business community.”
If you would like to find out more about Poole BID, visit their website