Barrow BID – Annual Report 2018 from The Chair

 

Summary

As expected the BID has moved on greatly in the last twelve months as initial schemes, initiatives and events have been finalised. We have a new BID Manager who came into post in April to assist with Marketing & Communication and took over the reins as BID Manager in July. 

 

The BID Board

The BID Board is made up of individuals from a broad range of levy paying businesses and presently consists of 11 Directors:

Large Retailers: Simon Craig – Chair (M&S); Nathan Morrow (Wilko)

Small Retailers: Sandra Collings (Cumbria Embroidery & Print); Phil Heath (Heath’s Toymaster)

Hospitality, Food & Drink: Sam Hughes (Duke of Edinburgh); Keiron Hart (Custom House)

There are still a number of potential Board places available and should you wish to put yourself forward, please send an email to manager@barrowbid.co.uk

Members

The BID is looking to encourage as many of the levy-paying businesses as possible to sign up to become BID Members.  This will give two benefits: firstly, as Barrow BID is a company limited by guarantee, being a Member will allow a vote on key issues at the AGM or other key meetings; secondly, by registering an email address as a Member, we will be able to better communicate directly with Members on key BID issues.

Find the Membership Form here

Financial Summary

Click here to open up the financial report from the year end 2018

Minutes of AGM

Click here to open up the minutes of the AGM - November 2018

Manager's Report

Click here to open up the Barrow BID Manager's Report following his first six months in post.

Click here to open up a slideshow of images showcasing our 2018 achievements

Chairman's Report

As a group we are involved in so much more than just the outwardly visible events and sponsorships.We have built up  strong strategic partnerships with many key stakeholders within the borough including Furness Economic Development Forum (FEDF), where I sit on the board, FEDF subgroup – Quality of Life, Chaired by John Woodcock MP, which deals with all types of issues affecting Barrow from social care, housing, crime and the general quality of life of barrovians. We have also maintained our close links with both Barrow Borough and Cumbria County councils and hold joint meetings with these on a regular basis.

These partnerships are hugely important to the success of the BID and allow us to lobby, put pressure on and raise important issues with the people/groups who can tackle some of the bigger issues such as traffic, parking and vacant properties. As you will all be aware these things do not happen quickly but it is vital that we persevere in representing you, our members in improving these areas.

Another long term plan that we are pleased to be a part of is the Central Barrow Masterplan. This Masterplan has a scope of fifteen to twenty years before full completion, which is far longer than our current term of three years but is another area that is vital to the future of our town and we are delighted to have been invited to help shape and plan. One stakeholder meeting has taken place so far and our thoughts surrounding traffic movement, car parking, public transport and open spaces within town were well received by the team and we hope to have gained some early traction.

I feel that I must take this opportunity to highlight to members that the health of the High Street in the UK at present is not the best it could be. Numerous retailers have been placed into and are heading into administration due to dwindling sales, increasing costs and a vast change in consumer habits. We are not unique – this is a national issue and almost all the daily newspapers are running “Save Our High Street” campaigns. Rental values are too high, business rates calculations are not fit for purpose and are extremely unfair, local government spending has been cut, etc. etc. What can we do?

Well, we can ensure that we are well represented on the boards and groups that can lobby government and secure additional funding on a scale that will make a difference and we can encourage more of our local population and visitors to use our town centre more by creating interest either by an event or some activities – this I believe we are doing on your behalf and will continue to do so in the next twelve months and beyond.

Simon Craig - Chair, Barrow BID
November 2018