Poole retailers urged to have say this week on their draft BID plan

Following an extensive consultation process the draft plan for Poole’s proposed Business Improvement District (BID) is set to be launched this Thursday November 12.

Thursday’s meeting, 6pm in the Dolphin Shopping Centre, will provide retailers and business owners from across the designated BID area with a last chance to comment on the ideas outlined in the plan.

Over the past few months BID organiser, Poole Town Centre Partnership, has hosted a series of consultation events and meetings, as well as face-to-face discussions with local businesses to give them the chance to share their opinions on what they would like to see in the plan, which will help to shape the future of their town.

If successful, this plan will be delivered over the next five years across the BID area, including the Quay, High Street, Dolphin Shopping Centre and all streets within these locations. A BID scheme could generate £330,000 per year, with the potential to double that figure, to help the town to thrive and flourish.

The draft plan incorporates the key elements that local businesses most wanted to see; highlights include:

–          A marketing strategy, prioritising the use of digital marketing

–          A large scale, annual, public event to attract visitors from across the region

–          The introduction of free Wi-Fi across the designated area

–          Installation of large LED screens on each side of the rail crossing to include images of the town, a news and weather feed, and the opportunity for BID members to advertise special offers and promotions

–          An imaginative  plan to improve the look and feel of the High Street

After this Thursday’s event, the plan will be finalised. In February 2016 local businesses will be sent a postal vote to decide if Poole wants to have a BID, and an opportunity to make the step change Poole really needs.

Commenting on the draft plan, Jonathan Sibbett chairman of Poole Town Centre Partnership board said: “After months of discussions it’s exciting to have got to this stage where we’re able to share the draft plan. We’ve been out and about listening to what the business community of Poole would like to see in their town, and we’re looking forward to sharing our thoughts with them. This meeting will provide the BID voters with the chance to comment on the proposal document before the plan is finalised in a few weeks. It will then be up to them to cast their votes in February next year – they will decide if Poole will have a BID for the next five years.”

Rosemarie, manager of McDonalds adds: “McDonalds supports the Poole BID! A better connected, organised and marketed town will clearly boost business and benefit everyone. As a hospitality business we can see how it would benefit our customers, for instance through greater investment into the look of the High Street. In the current climate it is critical for local businesses to pull together to promote and enhance Poole, it is unfair to expect the Council to do it for us and the BID will give us, the businesses, a coherent voice and influence as the funds raised would support the services we provide. Together we can make a real difference.”

Tim Bennett, one of the owners and directors of Specsavers comments: “For me, personally and as a business owner, Poole town centre would absolutely benefit from a Business Improvement District. I was involved with one of the early BIDs while working with a small restaurant group in London’s West End, where I experienced first-hand the vast difference the delivery of cleaner, safer areas and improved street lighting made to visitors. As a small operator, we definitely noticed the benefit and I genuinely believe a well-supported BID would breathe new life into the town centre.”

Keep up-to-date with news and give your views via Twitter: https://twitter.com/BIDPoole and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Poole-BID/1656653974565020

Poole businesses are urged to come along to make their views heard this Thursday November 12, 6pm at the Dolphin Centre. This plan will affect every business in Poole town, so it is vitally important that those who will vote and pay for the scheme come along to hear what is proposed and to comment on what has been suggested so far.