Support grows for Boro BID

MORE businesses in Middlesbrough have come forward to back plans for a potential Business Improvement District (BID) as ballot papers go out tomorrow (May 10).


Backers of the BID already include high street giants Marks and Spencer, HSBC, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Next and Boots.

Now more businesses in the town centre have pledged their support to the Middlesbrough BID to deliver programmes and range of improvements that could be made to help boost the town centre economy.

A ballot date for a business improvement district has been set for June 7. If businesses vote for a BID, the programme of events and improvements could start as early as the summer.

Lynn Stainsby, centre manager of the Captain Cook Square Shopping Centre, said: “The MiddlesbroughBID is about a partnership between businesses and the local authority to improve areas in ways that businesses need.

“On the ground, you can see what needs doing and a BID is a great opportunity for people to have their say on what goes on in their town centre.”

James Thomson, owner of Heaven Scent in the town’s Linthorpe Road, said: “There are a number of great independent shops in Middlesbrough and one of the biggest benefits of a BID would be to improve footfall.

“The BID is a way for smaller businesses to get together and see real improvements in their town which will directly affect them.”

Liam Percy owner of Al Forno restaurant, said: “A BID in Middlesbrough makes sense when you see what they’ve achieved in other areas. It’s about having a co-ordinated approach and a strategy in place to improve footfall and tell people about the good things that are going on in the town.”

More than 480  businesses were provided with a draft BID business plan and following consultation changes were made, including widening the BID area at the north of the town centre, and a reduction in the proposed levy on business rates from 1.5% to 1.2%.

As part of the BID, businesses would contribute up to £417,000 a year through a small levy on their business rates with Middlesbrough Council contributing a further £40,000 a year plus the management and administrative costs for the period of the BID.

Alan Weston, Middlesbrough’s town centre manager, said: “We’ve had some great feedback  from businesses in the town centre who are supporting the plans. Their feelings are that the small levy on business rates will be well worth what improvements will be made to the town centre economy.

“You only have to look at other BID areas, such as Hull, to release what a big impact BIDs can make on the local economy.”

Independent data has shown that Middlesbrough town centre retailers could benefit to the tune of £25m+ if a Business Improvement District is successfully set up.

Studies on established BIDs in other parts of the UK show that activities to improve the

environment, safety and appeal of town centres has increased footfall by between 2.8% and


According to research experts Experian, the Middlesbrough retail economy was worth

£937m in 2008, meaning that a BID in the town would potentially bring an extra £25m to

£100m in increased shopper spending if it replicated success elsewhere in the country.

Three key priority areas for Middlesbrough BID have been identified so far including:

  • Raising the profile of Middlesbrough and encouraging higher spending among visitors via marketing, advertising and more events such as Christmas markets.
  • Protecting Middlesbrough by working with the local authority and police to ensure the town is cleaner, safer and greener
  • Improving and diversifying the offer of the town centre via initiatives such as further pedestrianisation and improved signage.


For more information on the Middlesbrough BID, visit

Showing Support: Pictured from left to right are: James Thomson of Heaven Scent,  Garry Ingoldsby of, Liam Percy of Al Forno, Lynn Stainsby from Captain Cook Square, Russell Mills of Place 4 Pets and Damon Roberts of Thistle Hotel

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