We caught up with Oswestry BID this month to find out exactly what it is they do in Oswestry and how our community is benefiting. BID Manager Adele, talks us through everything we need to know.

What is BID?

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are created by businesses and organisations. They come together to collaborate on initiatives that improve the location where they trade or do business.

BIDs are driven by participating businesses, which work together to draw up a business plan, which is voted on and if agreed, is then funded through a levy based on business rateable values. They also try to lever in additional funding for investment into the delivery of projects for the benefit of businesses.

This is a not for profit company which has been set up by business representatives and is accountable to the businesses in the area to manage the delivery of the BID Business Plan.

Who are the BID team?

Oswestry BID can have up to 12 Directors on the Board.  These are voluntary positions and are made up of a cross section of people that represent different sectors of businesses in Oswestry with the addition of two Directors with a special skill set.  Day to day running of BID is down to its two employees, BID Manager Adele Nightingale and BID Administrator Lindsey Pierce.

What is BID doing for Oswestry?

Raising the town profile: Marketing Oswestry; the Oswestry Christmas video had a reach of over 100,000!  We launched the One Oswestry website which gives information about what Oswestry has to offer; shops, places to eat and drink, a business directory, up coming events.  Social media to reach a wider audience to attract new visitors.

Free Wifi in the town centre.  The installation for this system is imminent and will give useful data as to how the town is used, what the highs and lows on footfall are, what initiatives to attract visitors work. The data can then be used for planning, to seek funding and grants, and to give possible investors real data about the town.

LoyalFree app: This is a great place for our businesses to show any offers they have running and for their customers, to ensure they make savings and collect stamps for rewards.  We encourage all readers to download the free app to take advantage of any offers that are currently available in Oswestry. Businesses can join to advertise their offers.

Maintenance: Working with Oswestry Town Council and Shropshire Council to ensure all infrastructures are maintained e.g. streetlights are working, signs are clear and cleaned, that road lines are repainted.

Business Support: Free training courses for BID members.  Training such as Mental Health First Aid, Social Media for small businesses, Basic Life Support and safe use of AED, have all been well attended.

Accessible and Safe – Orders have been placed to enhance the current CCTV system.  There will be additional cameras in the town centre and we will now have cameras covering our industrial areas.  There will be an upgrade to the infrastructure at the police station to accommodate the additional cameras.

Pubwatch: We are now an active part of the Pubwatch Team.  Working with the team, we are looking at ways to improve any safety elements for our night time economy and are helping to promote events.  We underwrote the Christmas Night Bus with Arriva to ensure that people had a safe way to get in and out of town and employed two Taxi Marshalls on busy nights in December to organise the taxi rank, assisting taxi drivers and the general public.

Voluntary Membership: The BID has a number of voluntary members and this is increasing monthly.  If your business is under £12,000.00 rateable value you can join the BID. Voluntary membership entitles you to all the other benefits that mandated levy payers receive.

For further information about any of these topics and more, visit the website oneoswestry.co.uk or contact the BID team on 01691 700365.