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Worcester BID Annual Report 2014/15

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This document explains what has been achieved by the Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) in Worcester during 2014/15, our fifth and final year of our initial term, under each objective. In October 2009, Worcester city centre businesses with a rateable value of over £7,500 at that time voted to establish a BID (73% voted ‘Yes’ by number and 79% voted in favour by rateable value) and implement the proposals set out in the Business Plan (see for a copy). The proposals are funded by a BID levy on the rateable value of a property which is over the £7,500 threshold and located within the defined BID area.

There are 5 strategic objectives: z To help spread the word about Worcester and its businesses z To improve safety and security z To improve accessing and navigating the city centre z To make the BID area more attractive z To lobby on behalf of businesses on issues that matter the most to you This document sets out what activities have been taking place under each of these objectives.

The Worcester BID Board 2014/15 The board consists of Non-Executive Directors who all give their time voluntarily and are evenly spread across the city and each represents their specific business sector. • Nicki Williams (Chairman) - Corporate Director, Finance and Resources, Worcester College of Technology - representing the Financial sector • Erica Burlace (Vice Chairman) - Shopping Centre Manager, CrownGate Shopping Centre (The Crown Estate) - representing Property Owners • Stuart Bailey - Director, Thomas Guise Solicitors - representing the Professional sector • Robert Higham - Secretary, Worcester Diocesan Board of Finance - representing the Professional sector • Dean Hill - Owner, Tramps Nightclub, Mode, Velvet Lounge - representing the Tourism / Leisure sector

• Councillor Adrian Gregson, Worcester City Council - representing public agencies • Tim Evans – Owner, Toys & Games of Worcester - representing independent retailers • Alison Pickerill - Marketing Manager, Peplow Jewellers - representing independent retailers • David Sutton - Cleaner and Greener Manager, Worcester City Council - representing Public Agencies. • Deborah Thompson - Former Area Manager, Boots - representing VisitWorcester (resigned 31st March 2015) • Amanda Savidge – Director, Museum of Royal Worcester - representing the Tourism / Leisure sector and VisitWorcester


Welcome from Chairman Nicki Williams


elcome to the Worcester Business Improvement District’s

(BID) fifth annual report. This was the final year of our initial term and I was delighted to see that our hard work in delivering the 2010-2015 Business Plan was deemed a success when our BID2 ballot gave us a resounding mandate to continue for another 5 years. A 50% turnout and with 65% of businesses voting yes by number and 72% by rateable value means that the BID will now continue for another 5 years delivering new projects as well as continuing some of the existing projects that have proved popular and beneficial to the city centre. On behalf of the BID board, I would like to thank those who took time to have their say in what projects they would like to see in BID2 as part of our extensive consultation last summer, as well as to everyone who voted. There were numerous highlights of the work that we carried out in 2014/15. Worcester being recognised with the Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) for our work on the Open4Business post flooding campaign which was also a project recognised by the British BIDs ‘Proud Projects’ Awards where we were national runners up. We were also runners up in the Great British High Street of the Year Awards run by the Future High Streets Forum which culminated in an awards ceremony in the House of Commons. Our most popular project of the year, based on feedback from businesses and the public, was the production of our Uniquely Yours book. This allowed 151 independent businesses to be showcased in the 216 page publication for free as part of their BID levy. This publication was distributed to a huge variety of locations, including hospitals, hotels, cafes and hairdressers meaning it will be read by as many people as possible. Our first ever Foodie Festival also proved to be a big success last August, and I believe that our Christmas campaign to promote Worcester by day and night helped to boost trade in a way that couldn’t be done as effectively these days without the presence of the BID.

Annual Report 2014/15 Contents Introduction 2 Welcome 3 Spreading the Word


Attractive City


Safer City


Getting Out and About 10 United Voice


Financial Summary


This Annual Report aims to give you information on all the exciting work we have undertaken in the previous 12 months and where possible, the results of this activity. We are regularly asked by other BIDs around the country for advice on how we run various projects which I believe is a testament to how professionally and efficiently we operate on your behalf. With plenty of opportunities to save you money, promote your business and make it safer, please get involved in the Worcester BID activities! We are here to help. Here’s to an equally successful BID2.

In 2014/15, the BID employees comprised: • Adrian Field - Head of Worcester BID • Hazel Shephard - BID Co-ordinator (30 hours per week) • Nadja von Dahlen - Marketing and Events Officer • Jack Hince - Crime Reduction Manager (20 hours per week) • Cheryl Norfolk - CityNet Administrator (20 hours per week) (resigned February 2015)

• Lewis Yardley - Apprentice (30 hours per week) (resigned July 2014)

• Michelle Payne - Street Ranger (resigned September 2014) • Karl Turner - Street Ranger • Martin Clews - Street Ranger

Worcester BID Marketing Sub Group: • Sara Matthews - Marketing Manager, CrownGate Shopping Centre - representing Property Owners • Dean Hill - Owner, Tramps / Mode / Velvet Lounge - Tourism & Leisure • Roy McDonald - Marketing Consultant, Diglis House Hotel - Tourism & Hospitality (resigned February 2015) • Ed Nixey - Owner, Source Design and Print - Retail / Business to Business • Alison Pickerill - Marketing Manager, Peplow Jewellers - Independent Retail • John Keane - Marketing and Sales Director, Modus Creative (resigned February 2015) • Adrian Field, Hazel Shephard, Nadja von Dahlen – Worcester BID

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Spreading the Word


2010 to 2015 Business Plan Objectives: z z z z

To put Worcester on the map and tell people what we have to offer Create more events to attract customers and to promote them more Promote our wonderful independent businesses To offer employees incentives to make use of our businesses in the BID area

Key Achievements in Year 5 z Uniquely Worcester, our campaign/event to promote independent businesses in the city centre stepped up a level this year with the production of the much lauded Uniquely Yours book. This 216 pager had full page adverts for 151 BID businesses which were fully funded by the Worcester BID. 8,000 copies were then carefully distributed to accommodation providers, cafes, hairdressers and other numerous outlets to ensure maximum readership and were also distributed by BID businesses themselves at events such as those at the Three Counties Showground and NEC shows.

BID Chairman Nicki Williams with the ATCM Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Achievement along with partners

z We were delighted to receive national recognition for our work on keeping Worcester open for business during the floods of February 2014 when Worcester was awarded the Association of Town and City Management’s (ATCM) Chairman’s Award as well as being runner up in the British BID’s Proud Project Awards. We also led the submission which resulted in us being national runner up in the High Street of the Year competition, run by the Future High Streets Forum.

I like the way that there are lots of faces from local businesses in the Uniquely Yours book and it really shows what great services, retailers and businesses there are in Worcester. I’m sure this will make a difference to the BID businesses involved. Claire Wright Owner Stripes The Foregate

Launching the new Uniquely Yours book


WORCESTER BID A NNUAL R EPORT 2014/15 5 z For the first time, we ran the Worcester Foodie Festival, a 2 day event held in August 2014. It was hugely successful with footfall up 21% on the previous week on the Saturday (9% year on year) and 40% on the Sunday (100% year on year). We had 49 stalls of which 20 were BID businesses and 40 had offers or were promoted in the 12 page programme. We also ran a postcard campaign which was sent to approximately 35,000 households.

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Worcester Foodie Festival

z Worcester BID once again delivered the Worcester Motor Festival in association with the Worcester News. The 2014 event attracted 41 dealership cars and 72 classic cars to 6 pedestrianised streets in Worcester city centre. We also had 2 Morgans and a car from the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb. The event led to an increase of footfall of 28% on the previous week and 2% on the same day in 2013. 89 businesses participated with offers, trails, displayed bunting, dressed their windows or ran in store activities and competitions. 7 of these had a stall or a display pitch.

z The BID Employalty Card continues to run with 82 businesses now signed up with offers and 2,835 employees of BID businesses taking part. Businesses include independents and nationals across all sectors.

Worcester Motor Festival

z Worcester BID delivered the Riverside Arts Market on 2 Sundays in August (an additional one was a washout) as part of the Worcester Festival. The events had a total of 103 stalls including 3 BID businesses who exhibited their goods for free. z In partnership with CrownGate Shopping Centre, we exhibited at the University of Worcester’s Freshers’ Fair. We created a dedicated Twitter account and area on our website for 28 businesses to promote student offers. Window stickers in business frontages also helped students identify where the offers were located. We also participated in CrownGate Shopping Centre’s popular Student Takeover event in October 2014 to help promote the city and its businesses. z We worked with the Worcester Music Festival once again to deliver the Big Busk event which had 14 performers delighting the crowds in 3 locations in the city centre (Broad Street, Shambles and High Street). z The BID website continues to be updated regularly on progress of projects, business and event listings and a resource for downloading various materials relating to events or other projects. contains all the information and news related to our activities. z We led on the city’s Christmas ‘Worcester Wonderland’ marketing campaign aimed at attracting locals and visitors to spend their money in Worcester at such a crucial trading period. This involved, advertising in local and regional media on trains, the Google Display Network, billboards, bus backs, postcards, Golden Tickets, social media and through the businesses themselves. The campaign reach was 3,973,623 people! We were also partners in bringing the Nutcrackers into the CrownGate Shopping Centre and part funding the presence of Father Christmas meeting children in Friary Walk.

Worcester Wond

erland Christmas


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Spreading the Word (continued) z April 2014 saw the return of the ever popular Chocolate Day with footfall up 12% on the previous Saturday. The event included the involvement of 70 BID businesses signed up to take part in chocolate trails and themed activities in store. On street entertainment included truffle making, a colour in the egg competition, Worcester Ukelele Club, Dancing Eggs, cookery demonstrations from professional chef Mark Lloyd, Living Statues and Wonky Wonka, a close up magician.

z Coverage of the BID’s activities and opinions were once again extremely well documented in 2014/15, with 122 printed press article, 5 radio interviews and 2 TV appearances. This included the promotion of Christmas shopping by the Head of Worcester BID on the national BBC News on the Saturday before Christmas. z All businesses received a wallplanner for 2015 /16 highlighting the events in Worcester being run this year to help them plan ahead. This was augmented by an Events Leaflet giving more information to the public on BID events in the year. z At the end of March 2014 our Twitter account had over 3,000 followers, an increase of 72% over the previous 12 months and it helped us to promote our activities and also to help spread the word about those of our BID levy paying businesses. We tweeted over 7,000 messages. We emailed over 8,000 email addresses to promote Worcester’s commercial offer at Christmas, and regular eBulletins continue to be sent out to employees of BID businesses highlighting the BID’s activities and goings on in the city centre. We also had over 750 Friends on Facebook with whom we engage and inform. z We provided all food related businesses with a free listing and 15 businesses had a hugely subsidised advert in the Chamber of Commerce’s Eating Out Guide. Hotels in the Worcester BID also had the opportunity of a free advert in their Stay Guide. z We also supported other partners’ events in 2014/15 including the Victorian Christmas Fayre, and new market operators LSD Promotions as the new look market in Angel Place began.



Chocolate Day


Attractive City

The first aid training course was just what our business wanted and staff needed. It was professionally run and we believe that training is a key area for the BID to help businesses with. Simeon Chapman Director Hazelton Mountford Bank Street

2010 to 2015 Business Plan Objectives: z To improve the provision of Christmas Lights to make areas more enticing and welcoming z Raise the standards of Angel Place and the Market and make it a more pleasant area z To make the street furniture, streets and empty units more attractive by working with community partners z To set up specific training courses based on demand to help improve their skills at a subsidised rate

Key Achievements in Year 5

The consistency of the Christmas lights in the frontages of businesses shows that through the BID, businesses can get together and create a great look and feel to the city. It is a very simple but effective project. Julia Gautama Manager Burgerworks Friar Street


z Christmas Lights were again installed on 12 lamp columns in Foregate Street, The Cross and The Foregate as well as the 8 trees in Broad Street. We continued our successful scheme to offer to bulk purchase internal lights for the window frontages of businesses and consequently supported over 100 businesses. z We supported businesses affected in October and November by the Angel Place redevelopment through increased business visits and lobbying on their behalf in order to minimize disruption and maximize promoting that they were still open for business. We assisted the new market operators LSD Promotions in promoting the new look market and became members of a new Strategic Markets, Festivals and Events Forum which meets monthly with partners. z We ran 4 Emergency First Aid at work courses for 42 employees of BID businesses. Everyone received a certificate for the accredited 1 day course which was free to BID businesses. Such is demand, we are running more in 2015/16.

The new Angel Place Market

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Safer City 2010 to 2015 Business Plan Objectives: z To ensure that there is a welcoming physical presence for visitors into the city centre z To do more to combat instances of theft and other anti-social behaviour both in the day and at night to ensure that people want to come to Worcester and will return having had a pleasurable experience

Key Achievements in Year 5

The Street Ranger team continually prove their worth when helping partners to deal with issues that affect businesses and the public’s perception of the city centre. They are an invaluable resource. Stewart Flisher Project Manager Team Worcester

z The BID Team have played a key role in Team Worcester, a new initiative which involves partners such as the Police, Civil Enforcement Officers amongst others to work closer together to resolve issues more efficiently and effectively. The Street Rangers attend weekly briefing sessions with partners to discuss how to tackle issues such as grot spots and anti-social behaviour. z Our experienced BID Street Rangers continued to operate between 9am and 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and have been working since the BID started in April 2010 to act as the eyes and ears of the BID. They liaise with businesses, report any damage or mess which requires urgent attention, meet and greet coaches with visitors to the city and carry out high visibility foot patrols with the aim of improving the visitor experience through excellent customer service. z Taxi Marshals have also been in operation since April 2010, operating at the taxi rank in The Cross every Saturday night between 10.30pm and 4.30am on Sunday morning as well additional nights during Freshers’ Week and in the run up to Christmas. z We have free membership of CityNet and Nightsafe anti crime groups for 96 BID businesses for CityNet and 56 for Nightsafe. The Head of Worcester BID is on the Nightsafe Committee and is on a group looking at Purple Flag accreditation for the city based on the quality of the night time economy. z The CityNet Co-ordinator has provided business crime advice and custom made training to 7 businesses and co-ordinated 48 CityNet members meetings to which any CityNet member is invited.


z A part time dedicated store detective funded through the BID has been involved in 425 incidents of retail stock loss and recovered at least ÂŁ46,000 in stolen goods in the fifth year of the BID. The detection rate for incidents relating to CityNet members was 92%, and just 32% for non-members thus proving the value of membership. z January 2015 saw the beginning of the process of looking at the option of reducing costs for businesses who purchase or hire CityNet and NightSafe radios and by doing so upgrading them from an analogue to a digital output. This will improve the recording of incidents and quality of the communications between members.

The support my store receives from the BID Store Detective is second to none. With their help we are predicting to cut our store losses by over half since May 2014. Ian Symonds Store Manager WHSmith High Street

Street Ranger Karl Turner, carrying out his duties

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Getting Out and About

115,947 2014 2015 IN

2010 to 2015 Business Plan Objectives: z For customers and clients to return to their cars without being constrained by the time restriction on their parking ticket so that they can continue their meetings, shopping, eating and drinking by having the ability to extend stays by phone as well as to park with or without cash z To have more details on the number of people in the city to see if trends correlate with businesses own so that assessments on business performance can be made z To make sure that customers know where businesses are and what they have to offer by improving pedestrian signage

Key Achievements in Year 5


z Since we launched the RingGo Pay for Parking by Phone project in November 2010, it has been used 347,568 times by members of the public in the 14 city centre car parks which accept payment using your debit or credit card over the phone. In 2014/15, it was used 115,947 times (an increase of 21% on last year) and represents approximately 12% of all parking transactions. The BID has continued to fund the convenience fee cost for users wanting to extend their stay using RingGo, just the cost of the parking itself in a bid to get people to spend longer in the city centre and spend more.


z We continue to work in partnership with NCP to offer 414 (up 34% on 2013/14) employees of BID levy paying businesses with the opportunity to pay just £3.10 per day, £62.50 per month, £171 per quarter or £625 per annum for use of their Cathedral Plaza car park. z We work with CrownGate shopping centre to offer employees of a BID levy paying business who also have an Employalty Card parking for £3 per day (Monday to Friday only). 375 employees of BID businesses currently have a card (38% higher than 12 months previously).

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Total uses of

115,947 2014/2015



z We have sent weekly reports to 77 businesses with details of the footfall in the previous week using our 4 cameras located around the BID area. This has helped us to look at the impact of events and for businesses to compare their own data with that of the city centre as a whole. z 48 new fingerpost signs were installed in the Spring of 2014 as well as the sprucing up of 19 more. These were often in new or relocated positions and highlighted commercial areas such as New Street, Friar Street, Hopmarket, Reindeer Court for the first time. The new fingers also highlighted existing attractions in more locations than ever before. Work also started to complement this signage with some interpretation panels in key locations with the aim of informing the reader of what is on offer in the vicinity in slightly more detail.

New Friar Street fingerpost

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United Voice 2010 to 2015 Business Plan Objectives: z To reduce overheads by working together as a business community to get better deals through bulk purchasing z To see the levy payers’ financial commitment to the city centre matched by that of other stakeholders, particularly public agencies to help look at new regeneration projects z To address the problem of gulls in the city centre and the mess that they cause

Key Achievements in Year 5 z We continue to promote our scheme to help reduce the overheads of our BID businesses by looking at gas, electricity and telecoms bills.

It was really important for us to get sound advice about the right location for us. The staff at Worcester BID did an excellent job of answering our many questions about trading in Worcester city centre. Their advice on location, schemes, incentives and properties was extremely useful.. Anna Brook Director iapetus Gallery Reindeer Court

iapetus which opened in Reindeer Court in June 2015 sought our advice when looking for a new premises in Worcester in late 2014

z In 2014/15 we received over £42,000 in voluntary contributions from the Crown Estate who own CrownGate Shopping Centre, the Arts Council, Worcestershire County Council as well as Section 106 funding to be spent on the new signage project. We received £20,000 from VisitWorcester to fund the campaign for our BID2 ballot in November 2014. We are extremely grateful to all partners for their financial support. z We were involved in assisting 6 businesses seeking advice on new premises in the city centre, 3 were looking to expand within the BID area and 3 looking to move into the city centre.

BCR utility savings scheme leaflet

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z We have raised awareness to BID businesses of the proposed Worcester Woods Retail Park and invited them to a meeting where agents for the developers Land Securities presented their case and answered questions from businesses, Councillors and other key stakeholders. Meetings with concerned landlords have taken place and evidence has been gathered to help consider the case and the BID’s stance on the proposal. z We informed businesses affected by the part closure of Foregate Street due to the repair works on the railway bridge of their opportunity to seek a review of their businesses rates during the works in order to seek a refund.

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Financial Summary The table below sets out Worcester BID’s financial position for the 12 month period 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015.

Activity Levies received less refunds

£ 385,198

Voluntary contributions


RingGo Income


Events Income


Other Income


Total Income




Spreading the Word


Safer City


Getting Out and About


Attractive City


United Voice




Total Expenditure


Net Surplus / (Deficit) for 2014/15


Notes: At the time of printing (June 2015), the full audited accounts of the year are not available. The management accounts have been used and full accounts will be available on request in accordance with the Worcester BID’s Terms of Reference from July 2015 onwards. Figures may not add up due to rounding.

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Worcester BID 4 Copenhagen Street Worcester WR1 2EY Tel: 01905 731612 Email: Facebook: Twitter: @WorcesterBid Web: Contact If you would like to discuss any of the projects that the Worcester BID is undertaking or ways in which you may want to get involved, please contact the Worcester BID team: Adrian Field

Head of Worcester BID

Nadja von Dahlen

Marketing and Events Manager

Hazel Shephard

BID Business Liaison Manager

Jack Hince

Crime Reduction Manager

Street Rangers

07982 405009

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Worcester BID Annual Report 2014/2015  
Worcester BID Annual Report 2014/2015