What does Kirkwall BID do? The Kirkwall BID is all about keeping the heart in Kirkwall – all year round!
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a local, business-led, initiative with a precisely-defined geographical town boundary. Businesses within the area are invited to come together to take decisions on how to improve their trading environment. In a BID district, businesses have voted to collectively invest in local improvements in addition to those delivered by statutory authorities. They are often, although not exclusively, a partnership arrangement through which the local business community and statutory authorities can take forward projects, which will benefit the local economy.
A BID is not a substitute for central or local government expenditure, but an additional investment guided by businesses to strengthen the local economy. BIDs are developed, managed and paid for by, principally, the private sector by means of a compulsory levy, which the businesses within the proposed BID area must vote in favour of before the BID can be established. Each business liable to contribute to the BID will be able to vote on whether or not the BID goes ahead. The interests of both large and small businesses are protected through a voting system that requires a majority in the numerical votes cast and the rateable value of votes cast.
The Kirkwall Business Improvement District is an exciting concept that gives the town centre businesses a unique opportunity to directly influence developments that will bring new life and energy to the area over the next few years and beyond.
A lot of emphasis is on the retail activity which drives the town centre economy, that is not the whole story. All town centre businesses are involved in the BID, be they a bookstore or a bank, a grocer or insurance broker. It’s all about businesses working together to keep the town alive, attractive and healthy.
The website was launched in October 2015 and it drives online marketing of the town centre. The website is intended for local people, visitors and businesses. It promotes what’s going on in the town centre through regular e-newsletters and features, keeping regular customers informed and hopefully attracting new business.
The website includes an events diary and online Business Directory which provides them with an individual web listing to promote themselves, this is kept up-to-date with details of seasonal opening hours, promotions etc.
Social Media – The BID Facebook Page is regularly updated with BID activities as well as being used to promote individual BID businesses.
An annual events programme which features events such as the Girls Day Out, the Kirkwall Easter Egg Hunt, the Halloween Spooktacular, Festive Fun Day.
We work with stakeholders, such as Orkney Island Council, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Business Gateway, to create an environment where businesses can grow and operate successfully. This includes Free Training Seminars for businesses such as beginners and advanced Social Media Training Sessions and Window Display Training.
Creating a more “attractive vibrant town centre”
Building on our unique town character we will keep the “Heart in our High Street” by creating a vibrant social and cultural centre which will regenerate and enhance its apperance, breathing new life into key areas, leading to new investment and more jobs which will revitalise the area and generate more revenue. The Kirkwall BID are members of the Healthy High Street Programme, which supports with town centre regeneration and growth.