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Promoting the prosperity and vibrancy of Solihull Town Centre

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On reflection over the past year I’m proud to see the work the BID have implemented in the town centre to the benefit of the levy payers and our visitors. The BID team continue to lay the foundations for the town centre to grow and develop as an attractive destination for shoppers, diners and businesses alike which is due to their tireless work. Lots of the initiatives that the team are involved with is public facing and therefore affect the

majority of us on a daily basis, however a lot of work is “behind the scenes”, where the BID play a vital role co-ordaining multiple different organisations positioning themselves, very much like the town centre itself, in the hub of action. Taking this position means the BID ensure the town centre is, and is seen to be, a proactive area which is evidenced by their initiatives and events. As the summer approaches we look ahead at the high-profile events the BID are hosting. Firstly, the inaugural Jaguar Land Rover festival celebrating Land Rover’s 70th anniversary. Taking place from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th June the town centre will be filled with vintage models as well as food stalls, an outdoor cinema and family entertainment. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate and interact with an institution of our region and an employer to so

many over the years. This summer will also see the return of the popular Jazz Festival. This will take place from Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd July and will make the town centre a hub of entertainment and live music for us all to enjoy. The team are always out and about interacting with the public and local businesses and the BID card continues to be popular with lots of local businesses offering attractive discounts on their products and services. The region is about to embark on a time of significant change with the introduction of HS2. I feel very confident that with the work the Solihull BID team have been doing, the town centre is in a prime position to embrace the forthcoming changes and continue to develop to the benefit of us all.

- Kevin Johns

BID DIRECTOR Solihull BID have increased their impact on the town centre during the past 12 months. We are proud to have worked closely together with our BID Businesses, listening, learning and adapting our approach to the projects that we have been asked to deliver. You will be able to read about our dedicated projects in this report and over the next few pages we will highlight those four project strands. I am excited to see how the BID will adapt and modify its approach to meet the ever-changing needs of the town centre. It is a

challenging time for retail here and across the UK. We will be working closely with our key partners to develop a strategic plan to ensure our town centre remains a vibrant and lively place to work, visit and invest in. The value that the BID brings to the region has shown to be a key element to the direction of the future plans, and I am thrilled and proud to be leading the amazing BID team to deliver these core values to our BID Businesses, and the town centre.

- Melanie Plamer

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MARKETING PROMOTIONS AND EVENTS EVENTS AND FESTIVALS The changing face of retail centres, with the ever-present threat from digital armchair shopping has made us look at our town centre community with a modified approach. Creating events, festivals and experiences for visitors is a vital key to drive footfall and keep our town centre community vibrant and thriving. Our events help to raise and maintain the profile of Solihull and moving forward we anticipate an increased focus in this area. We are also expanding and developing new ideas for our existing festivals and October’s food festival showed these changes. We attracted a wider audience with the celebrity presence of Dave Myers of Hairy Biker’s fame, and the CBeebies star Katy Ashworth. The food festival also incorporated its own

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`Ale Trail` driving footfall into our bars and restaurants, this along with the much-loved food voucher booklet saw an increased uplift in sales not only for the duration of the festival but also for the following 6 weeks through the return voucher offer.

programme on the Mell Square stage with its fabulous astro turf dance floor. The event is also advertised through 80,0000 programmes distributed across Birmingham and Solihull once again expanding the reach for promotion of Solihull.

There are another two festivals included in this financial year – the well-known Birmingham and Solihull Jazz festival is back in July and we introduce a new festival for June which is a celebration of Land Rover’s 70th anniversary. Both events incorporate ideas to attract footfall and increase retail spend from a wider reach again boosting our town centre economy.

The Solihull BID Awards once again took centre stage in November showcasing our talent, innovation and expertise. The apprentices and trainees won the hearts of the audience with their passion and enthusiasm to succeed. The awards sponsors have continued to show their amazing support enabling us to make this unique event something that can be enjoyed by all. Our continued thanks go to BNP Paribas, Phoebus Software, Touchwood, and Solihull College.

The Jazz festival has also grown, and we will be booking live Jazz into 17 bars, cafes and restaurants along with a three-day

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SAFER AND MORE SECURE The safety and security of our businesses, residents and visitors has, and will always be, a priority. Our Safe and Secure projects have been designed to ensure Solihull maintains its reputation as an attractive and safe environment to visit, and a sought-after destination in which to invest and do business. Our first line of defence is our four-strong team of Town Hosts who work in close partnership with the local Police team. Acting as ambassadors for Solihull Town Centre, they support shops and companies alike, patrolling the town centre, deterring business crime and training retailers on ways to prevent stock loss. As high-level trained first aiders

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they are usually first on scene to support any incidents within the area. The host team are (SIA) accredited, which has given them the necessary skills to enable them to deal with conflict and anti-social behaviour situations. The introduction of body worn cameras, that record both audio and video, and the retail radio, which provides a vital real-time link with all stakeholders, are invaluable additions to this hardworking and dedicated team. Our hosts are also on hand to monitor buskers and charity collectors and identify areas that are in breach of the public highways standards. The strong

relationship with Solihull Council has enabled our host team to identify, whilst on patrol, areas for improvement involving the appearance of the town centre, especially where businesses are affected by graffiti, waste and environmental crime. The hosts are always voted as one of the critical areas that the town centre cannot do without and from your continued feedback and thanks this is fully endorsed on a regular basis.

“In a year that has seen unprecedented demand on Police resources both nationally and regionally, Partnership support and active citizenship feels ever more precious in assisting us to reduce crime and protect our communities from harm. The Solihull BID through RCI (Retail Crime Initiative) has continued to work closely with our Neighbourhood Police officers in

a targeted approach to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. The BID are now involved in an ambitious new project to extend their influence into the night time economy, providing visible night time guardianship into the early hours working with police and businesses as ambassadors for

safety and security. I am proud of the partnership that our local officers have with the town hosts, working collaboratively to make Solihull Town Centre safer whilst improving the vibrant appeal of Solihull for visitors and businesses.�

- Chief Superintendent Bas Javid West Midlands Police

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PROMOTING THE EVENING ECONOMY AND HOSPITALITY SECTOR The past 12 months have seen a lot of changes within the evening economy. It is encouraging to see that even in challenging times Solihull is attracting premium new brands to open such as the Revolution Bar, Boston Tea Party, Tap & Tandoor and the Paramo Lounge. Visitors to town centres across the country are looking for more



people took part in The BIG Ale Trail

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varied offers for their hospitality needs and our premium brand means we can attract top names and independent smaller chains to our town. Our events and festivals are always closely linked with our evening economy such as the Big Ale Trail for the Solihull Food and Drink Festival and the 16 live jazz acts placed into the venues across


Bars hosted live music as part of the Jazz Festival

the town throughout the Solihull Jazz Festival. The hospitality industry is on an upward growth path and we are ready to promote this to the wider audience and local traders and employees alike.

SUPPORTING THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AND OFFICE SECTOR The professional services and office sector make up just under 50% of the Solihull BID area and play a huge part in keeping our town centre alive and thriving with business. Throughout our engagement with this sector we have listened to their needs and modified our focus accordingly. The key element that has been communicated to us is to ensure that all businesses feel connected and informed. We have found a successful formula of events to create our united community which include: The Pub Quiz bringing over 13 office sector businesses together in a fun informal environment.

The dedicated PR consultant who is on hand to interview you and promote stories into the press and our magazine and digital channels. The `Sing Solihull` choir who meet twice monthly, the numbers have grown to over 30 individuals attending from a selection of office-based businesses – a great way to de-stress and meet your business neighbour.

tool for employee engagement and inclusion into the shop local community. We look forward to some exciting new projects to strengthen our community further over the next 12 months.

The InSolihull magazine has dedicated business pages showcasing the breadth of business talent in the area. Networking events – to keep you informed on the changes within the town centre environment. The BID card acts as a great

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COMMUNICATION In addition to our defined business plan we have extended our connections to the wider region to ensure we are fully informed on the impact of local economic growth and changes to our environment.


We are the founders of, and chair BID Central. A membership group for BID management including: Hereford BID Stratford BID Lichfield BID Leamington BID Sutton Coldfield BID Coventry BID West Bromwich BID All Birmingham BIDs


BID representative on the West Midlands Combined Authority.


BID representative on the Growing Business Board for the GBSLEP.


Total PR value

£56,250 digital 25 cuttings print 20 cuttings key social 20+ media posts *Metric: Advertising Value Equivalent

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HIGHLIGHTS Consistent coverage in print and online of Solihull Food & Drink Festival featuring Dave Myers with preview articles and postevent picture specials in all Solihull newspapers in print and online Solihull BID Excellence Awards nominations and winners featured in every relevant title; Birmingham Post, Solihull Observer and Birmingham Mail New BID board members in relevant business titles with pictures of new appointments LR Fest full page in Birmingham Post print edition and online editions of Solihull Observer, Birmingham Live and Coventry Live ‘Face of Solihull’ model winner getting agency contract made Page 3 of Solihull News print edition Prominent coverage of Solihull BID Excellence Awards sponsors; BNP Paribas and Solihull College in the Solihull Observer

Edwin Ellis Creative Media, May 2018

INSOLIHULL MAGAZINE The InSolihull magazine continues to be a valued method of communication between our town centre business whilst also reaching a much wider audience from its distribution along the Chiltern mainline to London. The glossy free magazine is attracting a growing readership


with positive returns on investment from those who feature in it, generating more business and increasing enquiries.

We are the only Solihull magazine researched, managed and produced in Solihull, we know what you want to read all about and we aim to grow the print run and widen the reach even further over the next 12 months.

Stacey Barnfield, the ex-Editor for the Birmingham Post, is our dedicated PR journalist showcasing the success stories for the area within the magazine.




1. Dress, £39.99, Zara. 2. Top, £25, Marks and Spencer. 3. Top, £47.50, White Stuff. 4. Yumi skirt, £45, Aspire Style. 5. Trousers, £19.99, New Look. 6. Autograph trousers, £39.50, Marks and Spencer.


The high street wouldn’t be the same during the summer without a sea of florals hitting the stores. Teaming that with the bold colour trend of ss18 and a range of fabrics, you’ll be turning heads this season. 5

MAY - JULY 2018




Hat, £20, Oasis.

Bag, £29.99, Zara.

Bikini top, £19.99, Superdry.

Bikini bottoms, £6.99, Superdry.

Necklace, £45, Fabulous.

Headband, £9, River Island.

Sunglasses, £15.99, Zara.

Bag, £26, Topshop.

Left - Dress, £59. Right - Top, £59. Jeans, £59. All Monsoon.


Swimsuit, £34, Headband, £16. Both River Island.

Culottes, £249. Top, £199. Katherine Draisey.

BIBA kimono, £80, House of Fraser.

Florals Dune slides, £70, John Lewis.

Earrings, £12, River Island.

Shoes, £105, Le Scarpe. Products featured are available in Solihull stores or online.

InSolihull Presenter | Doc ref: IS-v1 | 28/03/18 | 0121 709 3772 | www.wider.co.uk

LAND ROVER FESTIVAL Iconic 70th year anniversary celebration

WALKING IN SOLIHULL The town’s best walks to get you active this summer PAGE 20


Discover the town’s best al fresco experiences PAGE 22

WHAT’S ON Exciting entertainment and events for all PAGE 30

InSolihull Presenter | Doc ref: IS-v1 | 09/04/18 | 0121 709 3772 | www.wider.co.uk



50,000+ BID cards in circulation

The BID employee card is one of the most successful employee benefit cards in the region.

Registered users receive weekly emails


Businesses actively offering benefits

Managed totally in house we give constant updates and monitor the success of offers and numbers of sign ups. We have some exciting plans for the BID card next year to make it even better so watch this space!

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WEBSITE The Solihull BID Website never stands still and we are currently about to embark on a new refresh to keep us up to date with the digital promotion platforms available. Our aim is to make the Solihull BID website THE go to site for all things Solihull , we want to use this to shout about your business and attract continued interest and investment into the area. Our website is managed in house along with our social media , the town hosts and project team have their finger on the pulse of the town centre and are able to pass information directly back to the project team to share on the website and digital portals. You speak, we listen, we promote.


SOCIAL MEDIA Our social media channels have also played a key role in our communications strategy. Over 14,000 people now follow us across all our channels. Prizes donated by levy payers and behind the scenes BID work, festivals and events have helped connect with each of our followers.


Likes on Facebook


Followers on Twitter

For each event we open an event page, over to the right are the stats for our up and coming events, LR FEST and the Solihull Sort Of Jazz Festival. Facebook: @Solihullbid Twitter: @SolihullBID Instagram: @solihullbid Linkedin: Solihull Business Improvement District

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Followers on Instagram


Followers on Linkedin



The event page has

The event page has


51k+ people


21k+ people

THE BID BOARD The Solihull BID Board is made up of volunteer representatives from a diverse range of organisations from within the BID area. They meet every other month to provide strategic direction and support to the full-time team,

Cliff Docker BNP Paribas

oversee delivery of the business plan and review expenditure and performance. Subcommittees also meet frequently to monitor the progress of projects. If you would like to find out

Perry Wardle SMBC

Kerri Matthews National Grid

Kevin Johns Prime Accountants BID Board Chair Paul Round Mell Square

more about the board, or wish to become a board member, please email info@solihullbid.co.uk

Tony Elvin Touchwood Lee Cassidy Tactile Technology

Nicola Newland Wider

Kevin Crawford Skipton Building Society

Louise Jones Thursfields

FINANCES *these are the projected costs only as BID end of financial year is 31st July , full accounts will be available at the AGM.

Total Income




Other Income


Cost of Projects


Operating Costs


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@SOLIHULLBID 0121 285 1370


Profile for Solihull BID

Solihull BID Annual Report 17/18  

Solihull BID Annual Report 17/18