WAKEFIELD Business Improvement District (BID) officially launched its plan on Tuesday evening in the grand surroundings of the city’s cathedral on a platform to attract new visitors and encourage existing users to stay longer.
Chairman, David Owens of the Beer Exchange and Cormac Hamilton, manager for Trinity Walk outlined the five year vision for WF1 to boost the success of the existing businesses and encourage more entrepreneurs to launch ventures.
With a vision based on pride passion and partnership the four stage plan will help Wakefield re-discover its sense of identity as a bright busy and thriving city centre perceived as a positive and ambitious destination both day and night.
Aimed at increasing footfall, improving the attractiveness of Wakefield and making it a safer cleaner destination through one united business voice they said that the £300,000 plus annual budget would be used to host more and new outside events, improving parking and navigation and boosting customer care by business.
“We know that Wakefield has a high quality retail, cultural, entertainment and business offer that attracts many people to visit and work here,” said Mr Owens. “We think we could attract even more people in and encourage those who already visit to stay longer to make it more prosperous.
“At the same time the BID would devolve power back to city centre businesses to develop initiatives that they know would be effective in boosting trade for them and the rest of the city.
“This is not a stand alone project for the centre of Wakefield which will be the initial beneficiary but it will have a ripple effect that everyone in the district will feel,” he added.
Cormac Hamilton, Centre Manager of Trinity Walk, said that it was important that every business with a vote got behind the BID, adding: “The BID has the potential to galvanise and unite businesses of all sizes to be part of something bigger to drive up footfall, the city’s profile and ultimately growing the local economy. We have a rare opportunity to do something great together and within Wakefield city centre we have an amazing offer to promote.”
Ballot papers will be sent out to all businesses eligible to vote within the next two weeks. Between now and the voting deadline of February 27 there will be a series of ‘Meet the Team’ events for the BID around WF1 where businesses can question members of the Steering Group about what it will mean to them and how they can be more involved.
For full details visit www.wakefieldbid.co.uk
Image: Cormac Hamilton and David Owens at the official BID launch in Wakefield Cathedral.