The Business Improvement District (BID) is 18 months old now and is one of 105 BIDs across the country. Its purpose over the next three and a half years is to work with its 400 members to raise awareness of Falmouth through marketing, events and festivals, getting the best for local businesses and physical improvements.
The BID is a mechanism for raising money locally and spending money locally to benefit the local economy. BIDs are business-led and raise their resources from a levy on local businesses. In Falmouth, this equates to £90,000 a year for the five year life of the programme.
Since the appointment of the BID Manager in March 2010, several projects have been launched with brand identity being the first to be started. The sail logo and ‘Falmouth the spirit of the sea’ strapline are a familiar sight around the town and the new website www.falmouth.co.uk provides an excellent local resource as well as being a marketing tool for the town. A local PR company has been appointed to raise the national profile of the town and a local photographer will capture the spirit of the town through images of the landscape and lifestyle shots.
This year, the BID has contributed over £10,000 to the town’s festivals and events and it will act as a catalyst for new events and festivals by providing seedcorn funding. Those who have visited the town lately will have noticed some physical improvements including two new benches, bunting and flags and floral displays. The hoardings at Ponsharden have been given a facelift and the vacant unit project has helped to improve the look of empty shop fronts in the town.
Local businesses have not been forgotten. A training programme for employees of local businesses is up and running and the new Shoppers Card, the first in Cornwall, will benefit businesses and local residents alike.
A lot has been achieved in a short time and there is plenty more to look forward to.