Gloucester Road BIDs goodbye
The Gloucester Road Business Independent District (GR BID) has come to an end and is in the process of winding up the scheme which it managed on behalf of local traders.
Back in 2014 Gloucester Road Traders voted marginally in favour of a Business Improvement District which would concentrate on marketing, events and promotion, making the area clean, green, accessible and attractive, offer lower business costs, a strong voice and influence for the independent businesses.
The result of the new BID ballot (2019 – 2024) was 53% against and 47% in favour, therefore there is new BID for Gloucester Road.
The final allocations of funding have all been made now. For some no longer paying the annual levy is a very welcome saving but for others the contribution was considered good value for what it brought the area which was a finalist in Great British High Street 2018 and Highly Commended for Guided Tour of the Year by the Bristol Bath & Somerset Tourism Awards 2018/19.
During its tenure, the BID provided many events attracting shoppers to the area each season as well as the Christmas lights, which sadly, have had to be removed. A free area map was developed to explore the neighbourhood, along with a section in the Visit Bristol Guide, plants for planters, street art, collaborations with community groups, schools and charities and funding of materials to BCR Street Scene, aiming to keep business tag free.
Long-term items that will remain are the living green walls at the bottom of Gloucester Road, more bike parking stands, and a cycle repair station still to be installed at the bottom of Gloucester Road. Traders parking signage, contactless donation points outside Ocean and at the bottom of Gloucester Road and a public access defibrillator located on the Apple Green forecourt building are installed.
With the BID no longer and the significant funding it brought to enable improvements, it will be down to the other local trade groups to get creative to promote the area.
Speaking on behalf of the GR BID, Anne-Louise Perez said: “To come so close to a new BID term is testament to the traders who supported the BID all along and could see the long term view.
“The high street is the beating heart of the community but consumer habits have changed, and all the evidence points to people seeking experiences, destinations things to do. Many of the levy payers embraced this – for example live DJ nights at Co-Lab, sewing workshops at Flo-Jo Fabrics, Charity Shopping Tours with a Personal Stylist with a variety of local charity shops.
“In the end it is up to the traders to adapt and react to the future high street – perhaps those that do give themselves the brightest outlook.”