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Our Activities

The BID was successful at a renewal ballot of levy payers which took place in June 2016.  The second BID term will run from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2021.  The BID business plan sets out key areas of activities to support the wide range of businesses within the town centre:

 

Digital town centre

 

The BID has worked with a town centre-based business, Rewarding Visits (RV) to develop a card and app-based loyalty scheme that provides participating businesses with discrete data on customers who use Rewards in Sutton Coldfield in their businesses.

Rewards in Sutton Coldfield has around 50 participating businesses and over 5,000 card holders.  The BID has assisted RV to access government funding to launch Rewards In Sutton Coldfield as a feasibility project and has since assisted in landing one of only three Innovate UK Reimagining the High Street grants to develop the concept further.

In BID2 we will work with RV to deliver the second phase of the Innovate UK project which will see:

  • Build on the success of Rewards in Sutton Coldfield
  • Introduce interactive "kiosk" touchpoints enabling all businesses to participate in the scheme, as it will allow retailers' own offer bar codes to work with their existing EPOS till scanning systems.
  • Promotion of the whole town centre to customers and workers in the town centre, recognising that many local residents are still reluctant to use on-line systems
  • Provide a key benefit for employers in the town centre to give to their employees

 

Voice for Business

 

The BID will continue to actively listen to business concerns and represent them to the City or Town Council or via the offices of the Chamber of Commerce.

 

A connected centre

 

The roll out of fibre broadband (fibre to the cabinet) has been taking place over the past few years.  Whilst most cabinets in the area have been upgraded, some, including town centre-located cabinets are not planned to be upgraded because they do not meet commercial criteria.

Due to the importance of high quality connectivity for business, The BID has funded the upgrade of three cabinets to fibre broadband

  • On Mill Street in front of The Gate public house (connecting businesses in Emmanuel Court)
  • At the end of Midland Drive (connecting businesses on Midland Drive, including Trinity Place and parts of High Street) opposite Holy Trinity Church.
  • On South Parade, adjacent to the Red Rose Centre (connecting businesses in the Red Rose Centre, parts of South Parade and Wrens Court


During 2017/18 we will fund three further cabinets, for installation as soon as practicable following the start of the second term commencing January 2017.  These cabinets will be situated on:

  • Railway Road (serving parts of High Street on the same side as The Royal)
  • Lichfield Road (serving Mitre Court*)
  • Queen Street, by Aldi, serving parts of Birmingham Road on the same side as the cottage hospital


Businesses who have connections to the new cabinets will be able arrange upgraded broadband as required via their internet service providers.

 

Evening & Night time Economy

 

The town centre has seen a growth in the night time economy, particularly in the Restaurant Quarter (RQ) with a range of price points, cuisines and both national chains and independent restaurants.  The town centre has a wide range of businesses that open in to the evening, including convenience stores, bookmakers, hair and beauty businesses and the Empire cinema, as well as late night opening in the main shopping centre in the run up to Christmas.

During its first five year term, the BID has developed a range of projects with the ultimate aim to deliver the Purple Flag standard for the town centre, including:

  • Developing of the RQ brand
  • Development of the Sutton Night Life brand for pubs and clubs
  • Funding of police officer time to monitor town centre CCTV to direct resources to stop trouble before it escalates, resulting in a fall in arrests
  • Provision of funds to enable a night pastor service, to assist revellers who are in difficulties
  • Promotion of both RQ and Sutton Nightlife brands using social media, local press, advertising hoardings, leaflets, press releases

In June 2016, the town centre was awarded Purple Flag status.  We will work with partners and local businesses to maintain that status through promotion of the wide range of restaurants, pubs and clubs in the town centre.

 

Environment

 

The BID area runs for approximately one and a half miles from the Empire cinema to the Sutton Coldfield college campus of Birmingham Metropolitan College.  With a successful renewal the northern border will move to include the substantial Mitre Court office development.

 

Clean & Green

 

The BID will continue to run a programme to deep clean the paved area (18,600 M2) at least once a year with some areas receiving more intense deep cleaning.  This has led to paved areas being seen in their real colours for the first time in many years.  The main public areas are under attack every day from weather, pollution and human detritus. We will target activity to ensure the entire 18,600 M2 is deep cleaned at least once per year, but then targeting those areas of heaviest activities (e.g. outdoor food consumption, bus stops, high footfall areas) for more intensive cleaning throughout the year.

We will continue to work with Staffordshire & West Midlands Community Rehabilitation Company to clear six public car parks once a month (Anchorage Road, Upper and Lower Reddicroft, Station Street, Mill Street and Duke Street).

We will continue to fund over 50 hanging baskets on Birmingham Road, Brassington Avenue, the Parade, Mill Street and High Street.

 

Christmas lights

 

The BID will continue to fund Christmas lights from the Empire cinema to Sutton Coldfield college and will work  with the Gracechurch Centre on the co-ordinated switch on.

 

Developing the business base of the town centre

 

Sutton Coldfield town centre is a busy commercial centre, with a range of professional and office-based businesses, including some substantial head office functions.  The people who work in these businesses are a key component in the overall prosperity of the town centre, spending in shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. The businesses themselves trade with each other and pay business rates and rent.  We want to build upon this thriving interaction between all business sectors which will aid footfall for retail and leisure and assist with staff recruitment for the professional and office-based community.


We are committing to invest £100,000 over five years in helping the professional services sector grow.


Once the roll out of the fibre to cabinet broadband services (under "A Connected Centre") has been completed, BID2 proposes to establish a £100,000 fund during the second half of its five year term.  The main focus of the fund will be aimed at business growth and to support further employee recruitment to assist businesses to expand within the town centre.  We recognise that increasing staff numbers will support other sectors in our community and business growth will naturally create further activity.  Our resources will target those businesses who can demonstrate the greatest return for our investment in the business community.

The BID will look to work with members of the professional services sector to establish a panel to decide how and with which prospective businesses to assist.