Over the past ten years, Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) has established itself as an integral catalyst, a constant business and community support provider and a key driver for new businesses relocating to the town. The not-for-profit organisation is also a vital body providing ongoing powerful local, regional and national advertising, media, digital communications, PR and marketing campaigns for Newquay. The BID is now approaching a renewal ballot and is hoping that member businesses vote it back in to represent the town for another five-year term.
Working to four key overarching objectives, it is remarkable what the BID has achieved since its inception in 2010. The key four business areas are; 1. Destination Newquay, 2. a more vibrant Newquay, 3. a more welcoming town centre and 4. improving and supporting business. Over the past decade, Newquay BID has created and delivered a new and exciting brand for Newquay as a coastal-cool, contemporary destination. The rebrand has been accompanied by a fulfilling programme of marketing activities, and carried out ongoing significant PR and publicity campaign including a set of targeted advertising and press trip campaigns.
The BID has been a crucial financial resource and a source of support for ongoing existing events such as the Newquay Fish Festival, Newquay Carnival, Cornwall Pride, Night Surf, Lowender Peran, UK Bodysurfing Championships and St Pirans Day. In addition to this, the team has developed many of its own unique and highly successful events such as the lauded Newquay Business Week which (in 2018) sold over 800 tickets, across 25 sessions in five venues over five days in Newquay. With a range of influential speakers and useful topics including tourism, marketing, branding, Cornish language, innovation, GDPR, Brexit, intellectual property, eco-tourism and sustainability, most of the events were an immediate sell-out.
The BID continues to carry out street environment projects, which successfully challenge perceptions and create local pride and in total. What’s more, it has worked with a range of partnership organisations across the town and collectively these efforts have increased footfall and visitor numbers onto the high street on an annual basis since 2010. This work has helped attract and support a range of new businesses supporting an array of creative indies and prestigious national blue-chip companies and investors in the resort – all of whom now see Newquay as a serious and lucrative business destination.
Under the remit of Destination Newquay, the BID has worked with all relevant coach tour providers to provide vital visitor information and help plan day itineraries, ensuring Newquay is firmly on the radar. Through Newquay-based communications specialists Excess Energy Communications, over the past 10 years, a succession of key UK national and regional journalists and influencers have been invited to Newquay which has resulted in a host of highly positive, perception changing key messages, and profile for almost 100 BID members in key target national and regional newspapers as well as online platforms.
- Newquay BID’s highly influential social brand ‘Love Newquay’ has a combined following of over 40,000 across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with an average post engagement of 10,000 for information posts and over 30,000 for images and video. Aimed at tourists and potential tourists, the social channels do an exceptional job at marketing Newquay as a place to live, work, visit all year around through compelling imagery and engaging content. In recent years, the team has reinvented the Newquay BID social media channels which target a more local audience, and act as a signposting and sharing platform for businesses. The informative BID monthly newsletter, ‘The BID Broadcast’ goes out to members eight time per year, sharing over 60 features and contacts in the business world, covering sponsorship, training opportunities, networking events and the latest information on BID projects and initiatives.
Seven Magazine is a BID-created glossy mini lifestyle magazine that is distributed to outlets in TR7 and TR8 postcodes and promotes the diverse business landscape through engaging features, profile pieces, captivating imagery and informative news. 15,000 copies of the magazine are printed during each run and a digital, interactive PDF version is available for download. Other BID-developed promotional literature includes the Newquay Food & Drink Guide (now within Seven Magazine) and the Festive Events Guide. Following the rise in popularity of German film series, Rosamunde Pilcher (filmed in Cornwall), the county saw a sharp influx in German tourists. To capitalize on this, Newquay BID subsequently launched a proactive three-month German social media campaign using Seven magazine translated content, targeting key areas surrounding new flight routes from Newquay to encourage international interest.
- Working towards creating a more vibrant Newquay, the BID has, and continues to, implement several schemes. These include; the installation of trader hanging baskets installed throughout high street, regularly replacing bunting, the erection of Love Newquay banners across high street, decluttering projects, sticker removal throughout the high street and surrounding areas. This work also includes graffiti removal from businesses within the BID boundary, refurbished ‘Welcome to Newquay’ signs with Newquay Town Council and funding provision for seeding projects throughout high street including Pictorial Meadow and other beds. The BID is incredibly proud to have won ‘Silver Gilt’ for Newquay in South West in Bloom BID entrants’ competition twice and continues to support Newquay in Bloom wherever possible. The organisation has also played a key lobbying role, working with Cornwall Council in regards to baseline delivery of projects to ensure Newquay is a town we can all be proud of.
As part of creating a more welcoming town centre, ensuring the running of regular ongoing winter and summer parking promotions remains a hot priority and the promotion thereof via social media, advertising and editorial. With regards to improving and supporting business, the BID has developed direct links with local authorities in order to resolve various issues that impact trade. It continues to signpost opportunities to members, as well as delivering a range of training opportunities delivered exclusive to BID members. Work with local authorities continues unabated as does representation in new working groups such as Community Safety, Newquay Events Committees and Community Engagement Forums.
Since the coronavirus crisis struck, the team has played a pivotal role in lobbying national government, fought for businesses on issues including rents, utilities, rates exemptions, financial support packages and much more. In addition to this, it has constantly kept businesses up to date with financial support and guidelines, created organic social media content for businesses and implemented a PR campaign to support the businesses with an overall reach of over 1,177,842 across broadcast, print and social media.
Carla Marie Jones, Newquay BID Manager said: “There is just over a month to go until ballot papers are sent out and then Newquay businesses have 28 days to make the crucial decision as to whether or not the vital support and delivery of the Newquay Business Improvement District is continued. We are proud of what we have achieved thus far but we will never rest on our laurels. We recognise that Newquay is on a journey, albeit an upward one but there is so much more to do and to be achieved. We believe Newquay is one of the best places to live in the UK, offering sensational lifestyle and business benefits. We want to continue our journey on an upward trajectory and assist the town in realising Newquay’s full potential. A ‘Yes’ vote will not only secure circa £150,000 per year over the next five years to spend on re-investing into and promoting ‘Newquay’, but we will also look to secure additional funding via grants and match-funding opportunism as and when the economy allows.
Carla continued, “In recent months, for obvious reasons, our role within the economy had to rapidly adapt to ensure businesses and the economy were placed in a precedent position throughout the global pandemic. Newquay BID has been instrumental in lobbying for and supporting businesses through the COVID19 pandemic. From offering signposting to organising training webinars to handling all media relations to ensure Newquay businesses remained firmly within the spotlight for when the time was right for Newquay to shine once again. More recently, our focus has been on working with statutory agencies to safely reopen Newquay for business through the implementation of the Town Wide Safety Plan.”
Carla continued, “We are in the process of developing the business plan for the next five-year term, which consists of a beneficial and exciting array of projects and initiatives to aid recovery, boost the local economy and visitor experience, in line with continuation of our four key objectives. It is really important to us that the future mandate is reflective of the businesses’ sentiment and flexible in its approach, so we would urge members to provide feedback. It is not too late to fill in our feedback survey if you have not done so already or simply send an email, I am always happy to chat further.”
Formed in 2011, Newquay BID is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers projects and services in the town to make Newquay safer, more vibrant, more welcoming and to improve and support the vibrant business community. Currently approaching the end of its second term which is due to cease on 31st March 2021, the BID hopes to be reinstated for a further five years subject to a new business plan being published and a ballot held in December 2020.
Following a consultation period with member businesses and the collation of critical business feedback, a business plan will be developed outlining the key aims and objectives that the BID will lead on for the upcoming five-year term. A subsequent ballot will be held where each business will have the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the renewal of the BID.
For more information on Newquay BID, its achievements, initiatives and projects to date, please visit: www.newquaybid.co.uk. It is not too late for Newquay businesses to complete the survey. It will be available online until Wednesday 7th October at: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/NewquayBID/. If businesses require this survey in an alternative format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
BID Fact file –note for journalists
A Business Improvement District (BID) scheme is a business led initiative supported by government legislation which gives local businesses the power to ‘raise funds locally to be spent locally’ on improving their trading environment or trading prospects. There are now over 320 BID schemes operating across the UK with 8 in Cornwall.
BID schemes are ‘business led for business benefit’ and operate in clearly defined geographical areas, often but not exclusively, town centres. They are not local authority led schemes although Cornwall Council is responsible for running the ballot and collecting the levy on the BID Company’s behalf assuming the BID is approved. Unlike business rates, all the money collected remains in Newquay to be spent on the priorities identified by businesses.
The process of developing a BID involves extensive consultation with businesses to establish what improvements they want and may be prepared to pay for.
The BID programme is primarily funded by the private sector although any non-domestic rate payer will be eligible to pay including organisations in the public or voluntary sector that have premises over a rateable value of £7,500 within the defined Newquay BID boundary.
The BID is funded through a levy on rateable value. If Newquay BID were to commence a third term, the levy would be based on 1.1% of the rateable value of the premises against the 2017 ratings list generating circa £150k per year for five years.
BIDs are viewed by many organisations as a fair and affordable way of creating a ring-fenced fund for 5 years that is managed by business for business through a private sector led, not-for-profit company.
BIDs are about new investment not about placing additional tax burdens on businesses. Where BIDs are successful, businesses will see a return on their investment. There is clear evidence of the success of BID schemes which have led to increased footfall, higher spending, cleaner, safer and more vibrant towns.
Following consultation with businesses, a business plan is produced which outlines the key aims and objectives the BID will lead on for the upcoming 5 years. A ballot is then held where each business has the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the BID. For the BID to be approved, of those who vote, two tests must be met:
- More than 50% of those who vote must vote ‘yes’
- Of those ‘yes’ votes, they need to represent more than 50% of the total rateable value of all votes cast
If these conditions are fulfilled payment of the levy for the next five years becomes mandatory for all businesses regardless of how they voted.