Following the official launch of Cardiff BID, the team behind the initiative has already made significant progress on a number of key projects to benefit visitors and workers in the city centre.
As well as working with Cardiff Council and South Wales Police to support Operation Mistletoe, the project has invested in an intensive street cleaning programme, a unique scheme to attract visitors to businesses across the city, and is looking at ways to upgrade the area to superfast broadband.
One of the main concerns highlighted in the BID’s comprehensive consultation process was the state of some of the city’s main shopping streets. In order to tackle this, the BID teamed up with Cardiff Council to implement a three-week pilot programme which focused around Queen Street, Caroline Street and St Mary Street, removing graffiti, repainting utility boxes and cleaning floors, leading to immediately visible results.
The experience gained from this three-week campaign will shape the ongoing street cleaning programme which will be carried out by the council with the BID’s investment topping up the existing levels of service.
Simon Phillips the BID Chairman, said: “Businesses have told us that they want to see the city centre looking better. By working hand in hand with the City Council we hope to demonstrate how Cardiff BID can improve the environment in which city centre businesses operate.
“With work underway to remove built up grime and graffiti, the city centre experience for visitors, shoppers and employees will be greatly improved at the most crucial trading time of year for businesses.”
The BID has also backed a project celebrating and supporting the thriving independent business community. The ‘Get Lost in Cardiff’ initiative is a map encouraging visitors to explore an independent trail of what the city has to offer. From the start of this month, 10,000 maps are available to inspire visitors to the city to experience the wealth of unique businesses on offer in Cardiff.
Mr Phillips said: “When you are new to a city, it can be daunting to head off the beaten track and we hope that this map will offer inspiration to those willing to explore. The BID isn’t just about supporting the big businesses. We hope that by working with independents we can help them, and the city, to thrive. We’re also encouraging visitors and businesses to use the hashtag #getlostincardiff to share their experiences with others.”
The BID is also working closely with BT to investigate options for high-speed broadband.
Mr Phillips said: “To date, there has been a lack of investment in upgrading the city centre broadband for businesses, and the private sector has been unable to fill the gap without any additional support.
“Cardiff BID hopes to invest in fibre optic improvements in partnership with BT to lower costs and offer high bandwidth connectivity for small businesses. A pilot scheme in the Castle Quarter area of the city centre will help us to identify the level of impact the BID’s investment will have.
“Viewed independently these might seem like fairly simple steps but they all have the potential to be very effective and have a big impact on the centre of town.”
Cardiff Business Improvement District (BID) will be investing £7.5m into the city over the next five years in a series of new developments which will help in the transformation of the city. The BID involves 700 businesses and organisations.
The Cardiff BID is being supported by The Mosaic Partnership which has been responsible for the implementation of 85 successful BIDs across the country.