The public launch of the Penzance BID to the wider business community took place at Penwith College on Wed 12th Feb in a packed lecture hall. It ended with an overwhelming show of support for "something must be done" (to improve Penzance Town Centre) and agreement that a Penzance BID should be pursued further to define the "something" and provide the resources.
The BID event marks the start of a long period of consultation with Town Centre businesses to determine the content of the 5 year BID programme. The programme needs to deliver benefits for all the different business sectors contributing through the BID levy. It also needs to adopt best practice and learn from the errors made by other BIDs which have sometimes alienated business (some examples were aired). The Penzance BID programme will only go ahead (in Apr 2015) if the postal ballot of businesses (planned for Jan 2015) demonstrates majority support.
Approximately 100 people representing approximately 59 local businesses heard the case for a BID skilfully made by Marcus Wilkinson (of Alfred Smiths), Chairman of the Penzance BID Steering Group. Carl Lamb of Newquay Zoo explained how the Newquay BID worked for them. The evening was in part 'stolen' by Richard Wilcox, Falmouth BID Manager, whose infectious enthusiasm and record of delivering results for Falmouth businesses swayed even BID skeptics.
It is import that businesses inside the BID area complete the BID survey:
- Survey downloadable here (for printing off and completing).
- Survey available to complete online here (Survey Monkey).
The survey is important because it will influence the content of the workshops to be held later in the year.
The BID Steering Group were delighted with the success of the launch event and high turnout.
The following deserve a special mention:
- Martin Tucker, Director of Penwith College, for an inspiring welcome speech, for making facilities available without charge and for subsidizing part of the cost of the buffet (prepared by the students and of an excellent standard).
- Josyanne Thatcher & Mario Cortes, Cornwall Council, who provide the BID Steering Group secretariat function and therefore most of the organizational effort for the event..
See 3 Feb 14 post on this blog for BID Map and download links.