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Halifax BID announces the appointment of our Project Manager

The Halifax town centre Business Improvement District (BID) has announced the appointment of its new BID Project Manager Chloe McNeill who will start working with businesses on the 1st April when the BID formally starts its operations.


Leigh-Anne Stradeski Chair of the Halifax BID Board and Chief Executive of Eureka! Children’s Museum said “We are pleased to be welcoming Chloe into this exciting new role for the town. She will join us from the West Yorkshire Young Enterprise, where she worked on a project to link schools and businesses and brings with her a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the town.”


The Project Manager’s role will be to support the businesses in the BID area achieve their aim of developing the Halifax town centre into a quality destination and a great place for business, leisure and culture.


Chloe McNeill – who comes from Calderdale and knows the area well – said, ‘I saw the BID job advertised via social media and after a lot of research realised what an exciting opportunity this is for Halifax. My experience with ‘Young Enterprise’ will help me develop important relationships between the businesses, the local authority, the police and other organisations to ensure that we can make the most of this great town. My first task will be getting to know the businesses and making sure that they can all get involved in shaping the priorities and activities necessary to deliver the projects in the BID business plan’.
The BID business plan which was voted on by businesses with a strong majority last October has four strategic objectives:


> Promoting the strengths of Halifax town centre locally, regionally and nationally


> Creating a great place for visitors and people working in the town centre to enjoy.


> Making sure that the town centre is welcoming and easily accessible


> And encouraging growth and development of businesses and future investment.


There are now more than 270 BIDs in the UK as a whole and more than 90 which have been renewed after five years. A BID normally last five years, and can be renewed for future periods but needs to go through a renewal process. A levy of 1.75% of rateable value was proposed for businesses in Halifax with a rateable value of £6,000 or more which will generate around £2.2 million of ring fenced funding over the five year life of the BID. This funding will also be used to lever in additional funds where possible to enable even more to be delivered.


Leigh-Anne Stradeski said that, ‘Chloe will be making contact with businesses when she starts but in the meantime if you would like to know more information about the BID this can be found [on this website]’.

It’s a YES!

We’re delighted to let you all know that the businesses of Halifax have voted in favour of a Business Improvement District for our town.



66.96% of votes cast voted in favour of the BID by total number of businesses, and 75.02% of votes cast voted in favour of the BID by Rateable Value. There was a 35% turnout.


The Halifax BID will commence operation from April 2017; we look forward to working with you all in the future.

Plans for Our Town Centre are Ramped Up

Plans for a Halifax Business Improvement District (BID) are now entering the next phase.


Over the last few months, businesses across the town have attended workshops, completed surveys and have been interviewed to bring together ideas in preparation for the BID business plan.


Sam Mason, CEO of the Piece Hall and co-Chair of Marketing Halifax’s BID Steering Group, said: “We are now entering an exciting phase of this project where we are starting to finalise the business plan.


“Businesses attending recent workshops said that they would rather pay a little more to make a real difference to the town and have been working on a potential budget worth in excess of £2m over the next five years.”


The workshops, led by the specialist BID consultants Partnerships for Better Business Ltd, explored business’ thoughts on the allocation of the budget across a range of activities.


The business plan will be ready by the end of August ready for the ballot in October. If the BID goes ahead, a BID company will be formed by the businesses, who will then be responsible for ensuring that the improvements are implemented.

Halifax BID May Newsletter

May 2016 Halifax BID Newsletter Summary – open PDF file below for full details:

  • Timeline of the bid
  • Your invitation
  • Developing town’s identity and branding voted top issue
  • BID Boundary to focus on the town centre
Halifax BID Summer Newsletter

Halifax BID Summer Newsletter

Businesses Identify Key Opportunities for Halifax

Businesses from across Halifax town centre have attended a series of workshops in the last month organised by Marketing Halifax to discuss their ideas for the future of the town centre and projects they would like to implement.


‘This forms part of the consultation of businesses across the town centre to gather views on projects which they would like to see in a Business Improvement District (BID) business plan,’ said Sam Mason, CEO of the Piece Hall and Co-Chair of the Marketing Halifax’s BID Steering Group which is leading this project. ‘This is an important part of the development of the plan together with the surveys and interviews being held on a one-to-one basis with businesses, which explore their thoughts in more detail’ continued Sam.


The workshops, led by the specialist BID consultants Partnerships for better business Ltd, explored business’s thoughts on the future of Halifax exploring issues and practical solutions. Leigh-Anne Stradeski, CEO of Eureka Children’s Museum, Co-Chair of the BID Steering Group said, ‘There were really lively discussions and one of the key themes to emerge from the workshops was how to improve access around and into the town centre itself and make it easier to walk from one part to another. We have some great attractions in the town but they are poorly signed and mean that visitors may visit one part of the town without realising that there some other great parts to see and make the most of their visit’ Leigh-Anne continued, ‘Other topics discussed included improved coordination of the marketing and promotion of the Halifax and to have more events happening on a regular basis’.


Business ideas from the workshops will be combined with the findings from the interviews and surveys to identify projects for the business plan. There will be a further series of workshops in June when businesses will consider the amount of levy they will pay and how this money will be allocated to the projects identified in the plan.


‘It will be important to ensure that all businesses benefit from the plan and consider it worth paying the levy so that they vote yes in the BID ballot in October, said Sam Mason. ‘If you have not yet met a member of the BID team to discuss your future business needs, please contact them as soon as possible to arrange a meeting. If the BID does go ahead, a BID Company will be formed by the businesses who will then be responsible for ensuring that the improvements are implemented fairly, thus helping to ensure the town’s businesses have more profile and the town becomes economically stronger.’ added Sam.

Halifax BID Newsletter

March 2016 Halifax BID Newsletter Summary – open PDF file below for full details:

  • Access and Promotion… key issues for Halifax!
  • BID Development… get involved!
  • BID to focus on the town centre
  • What is a BID? And other FAQs
Halifax BID Newsletter

Halifax BID Newsletter

Businesses BID to Shape the Future of the Town

Businesses in Halifax are moving ahead with their plans to develop the town centre to become a Business Improvement District (BID).


The BID – which brings businesses together to develop projects and activities to help boost the local economy – will enable them to have more influence on the promotion and development of Halifax.


In turn, it’s hoped that this will attract more people to shop, work, invest and spend time in the town.


Sam Mason, chief executive of the Piece Hall and chair of the BID steering group leading the project, said: “Halifax is rich in history and is a great place to visit, but people beyond the region only tend to think of Halifax as the town with the bank.


“We have some great businesses here both large and small and we want to change people’s perception and improve their experience of Halifax.”


In the next few weeks, the BID team, which is led by local businesses, is implementing a consultation exercise to identify the improvements that will be addressed through the BID. These might include ways of improving the experience of people who visit the town as well as developing different ways to promote the town.


The consultation exercise includes surveys of businesses from across the town, together with a series of workshops where businesses can discuss ideas and thoughts for the future.


The team is also working closely with Calderdale Council to baseline the services provided through the rates. This information will then be used to draw up the BID Proposal and business plan, which businesses in the town will vote on in October.


Mr Mason added: “It is essential that the activity delivered by BID is additional to the work of the council. In places where BIDs are already established, it has been proven that if the BID works with the local authority it can drive even more value from the services they deliver in addition to the activity of the BID itself.”


The BID steering group is made up of experienced people from across the town centre, representing businesses from retail and bars and pubs to professional service businesses.


“They are all passionate about Halifax and have a strong commitment to the economic success of the town and every business within it,” Mr Mason said. “The key to a successful vote will be the fact that the improvements identified in the business plan will benefit the town as a whole and all the businesses within it, rather than just one particular sector or a certain part of the town.”

‘A Business Improvement District for Halifax’ Launch Event 28 September 2015, Dean Clough

What is a Business Improvement District?

  • – A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led partnership, created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to businesses within a pre-determined boundary.
  • – A BID is funded via an additional levy based on rateable value (usually between 1-2%) on businesses within the boundary.
  • – There are now over 200 Business Improvement Districts throughout the UK.
  • – BIDs are governed by statute and there are specific regulations around the development and management of a BID.
  • – A BID should provide additional services, they give business a voice in the management of their town.
  • – More than 50% of voters by number and rateable value must say yes to secure a BID.
  • – A successful BID can help lever additional investment into the town.


A BID for Halifax

  • – Marketing Halifax will be the proposer of a BID for Halifax. They will work closely with businesses in the town, the local authority and a consultant who will help guide to the ballot stage.
  • – Tracy Harvey, Managing Director of Harveys of Halifax and board member at Marketing Halifax confirmed that her business is a keen supporter of the BID. She introduced Ian Ferguson of Partnerships for Better Business UK who has been appointed to guide Marketing Halifax through the BID process.


Phase 1

  • – A steering group has been created, the membership is not finalised, if you want to be involved, get in touch. The group will make decisions about boundary, levy rates and final business plan.
  • – Initial consultations will take place with cross section of town centre businesses.
  • – Report produced in January 2016 detailing business aspirations for the town centre.
  • – A database is being built to record opinions and suggestions. Based on the National Non Domestic Ratepayer information held by Calderdale Council.
  • – We will also begin to work out budgets.
  • – Our boundary is not yet decided, finalised summer 2016.


Phase 2

  • – Extensive consultation with businesses in spring and early summer of 2016.
  • – We start to speak with partners at the council, police and others to clarify spending commitments in the town. These commitments are reviewed annually.
  • – Creation of a 5-year business plan (on which potential levy payers would be voting).


Phase 3

  • – 28-day period postal ballot, scheduled to be held in autumn 2016.
  • – Result known the day after the ballot closes.
  • – If successful, the BID would begin operation in April 2017.
  • – The BID would be run as a not for profit company.
  • – Revd. Canon Hilary Barber of Halifax Minster and Chair of Marketing Halifax closed the event with a Q&A session.



Questions from those present


Q: How would a BID impact on wider Calderdale?

A: Whilst this project will be for Halifax town centre, there is nothing to prevent our other market towns considering the model in future.


Q: Match funding was mentioned, how would be go about sourcing this?

A: Ian keen to say that a BID should not chase funding for the sake of it; this should be purely to deliver objectives within the business plan.


Q: Where will the boundary be?

A: This will be one of the final things to be decided and a decision will be made following intensive consultation between February and June of next year.


Q: How will businesses be attracted to be involved?

A: The message has to be put across in the right way. Key points are that it will be a business led initiative, by business for business.


Q: Is the levy an additional payment or is it taken from existing business rates?

A: It will be an additional payment, it will be used specifically to deliver the business plan.


Q: Do those who vote No still have to pay the levy?

A: Yes. A yes vote of over 50% by RV and number of those who vote means that the BID would go ahead and the levy payment is legally binding.


We will aim to start speaking to a cross-section of businesses over the coming months. Emails can be sent to

Businesses BID to help shape the future of Halifax

Halifax businesses received cross-party support from Calderdale Council at the Economic & Investment panel meeting on Tuesday 21 July for the development of a Business Improvement District. This decision means that the project can be led by Marketing Halifax, the business forum which represents businesses from across the town.


Tracy Harvey, Managing Director at Harveys of Halifax and member of Marketing Halifax said ‘This is great news and provides a unique opportunity for businesses to take a real role in shaping the future of the town and build upon the unique strengths of Halifax to make it an even better place to work, visit and have a business’.


A Business Improvement District or BID is a defined area where rate-paying businesses decide on improvements to their area; they then vote on a plan and agree to invest in the delivery of activities which directly impact upon their business turnover and profit. This money is then ring-fenced to provide the improvements agreed through the BID plan and can be used to generate other revenue to boost the pot of money available to deliver the plan.


‘There are now over 200 BIDs in the UK,’ said Tracy, ‘and where they exist the towns have proven to deliver real benefits to businesses. Leeds businesses successfully secured a BID for the city centre in February which will generate around £10 million over the next five years and will give businesses a direct influence on key issues which effect their business environment.’


Tracy also went on to say, “As a business we strive to do all that we are able to make Harveys of Halifax as a place as appealing, engaging and supportive as we can.  The development of a BID in Halifax is a really exciting project. We have a wonderful town here with some great assets but we are not very good at shouting about them. We are really lucky to have buildings such as the Piece Hall, which is currently in the middle of a heritage lottery funded transformation into a high quality visitor attraction and we have the wonderful Borough Market with its exquisite Victorian architecture and great range of fresh food stalls.”


“If, with a BID, we can cherish and build on what we have”, continued Tracy, “Halifax will act as an even greater magnet for skilled people, great businesses and visitors from far away, as well as being a fantastic place for the people who live here.”


Marketing Halifax have appointed pfbb UK, who are specialists in the development and delivery of Business Improvement Districts across the UK. pfbb will provide Marketing Halfiax with the expertise to support the team on the ground.’


Ian Ferguson, Director of pfbb UK said “The BID ensures a sustainable way of creating a cohesive plan with funds to invest in the area that helps develop the town as a destination and as a great place to do business.”


There are a number of BID areas which have been operating for more than five years and have gone through a renewal ballot. In most cases those BIDs going on to a second term have received an even greater endorsement in the vote than they did the first time. BIDs have brought significant improvements to the trading environment of the businesses based in these locations.


The lifetime of the BID is prescribed by BID Regulations and is set at no more than 5 years.  It is possible for a BID to be extended by proposing a new Business Plan at the end of the BID lifetime for a fresh formal vote by the businesses.


The purposes of a BID are to provide new or expanded works and services or environmental enhancements within the prescribed BID area, funded via a BID Levy charge.  All services/improvements will be additional to those already provided by Calderdale Council. This charge is payable by non-domestic rate payers and is collected in much the same way as business rates.  The BID levy is normally around 1 to 2% of rateable value to ensure a fair means of calculating the charge.


A non-profit making BID Company is set up, run by the businesses in the town and has the responsibility of ensuring that all the levy monies are used to deliver the project identified in the BID plan which the businesses voted on.


Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Barry Collins, said: “Town centres across the country are facing many challenges, so we want to make sure we do all we can to give businesses the best chance to survive and thrive in Halifax.


“If Halifax becomes a Business Improvement District, it will help future-proof the town centre, providing investment opportunities to improve the environment and encouraging visitors to the town centre.”


Tracy Harvey agreed, saying, “With the increasing amount of on-line shopping, the way in which we all use our towns and cities is different now to what it was even ten years ago. Halifax is not alone in facing these changes and we have to look to the future. The BID will give us that ability to apply all our commercial minds to the way we want our great town to be and how we take advantage of new opportunities.”


As this affects all businesses in the town there will be an extensive programme of surveys, individual meetings, workshops and forums to provide opportunities for businesses to identify the key challenges they face, the priorities and potential solutions.


The first meeting for all businesses to learn more about the BID and how they can get involved over the next year, will be at the end of September.


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