Has Kendal BID achieved?

Kendal BID Reviews Member Objectives and affordability

At their latest monthly board meeting Tuesday 4th February, the BID Board reviewed performance since the start of second term last April and checked it against the business members objectives, these are contained in the published BID Business Plan 2019 to 2024.

BID Chairman Brian Harrison says

“Prior to the business plan being written our member’s views and wishes were recorded at a series of member consultation meetings, plus one to one meetings when members requested them.

Management by Member Objectives is the adopted process and a widely acknowledged way by which the member-elected directors, all with relevant business experience, transfer the member’s views and wishes into a 5-year business plan. The plan is transparent, and members can judge the director’s performance compared to their expectations.”.

The 2019 objectives are in three categories with each split down further into four sub-sections –

  • OBJECTIVE 1: VOICE FOR BUSINESS
  • OBJECTIVE 2: FIRM FOUNDATIONS
  • OBJECTIVE 3: KENDAL IS A DESTINATION

The improvement objectives are not for any business in particular, rather a mechanism by which Kendal improves its trading environment and opportunities. Obviously not all businesses buy into incentives, such is their freedom of choice, but for those who do buy in by far, the majority of feedback has been positive.

The meeting was told BID has a varying income that makes planning very difficult. It depends on business property occupation and rateable values. The board was put on warning that annual income is likely to reduce this year to £130K from £150K. This amount simply doesn’t allow unlimited BID expenditure.

The Board were advised that some objectives are proving more difficult.to progress – BID alone simply doesn’t have the income to fund replacement public toilets, BID doesn’t have the influence to speed up the reinstatement of the New Road footbridge that will hopefully allow riverside and traffic-free connectivity between two ends of our BID zone, the board need more time to seek out grants to match fund our members levy that hopefully will fund improving aesthetic appearance of empty shops, BID needs to encourage more Cumbria Tourism connections to increase the Kendal profile as a destination.

The Board agreed BID is privileged to have Sarah as the BID Manager, who also has proven grant application and project management skills, Sarah routinely puts in unpaid hours to develop BID projects and is searching for grants that fit our plans.  Additional grant income would allow further development and Sarah is working on a grant application that potentially could fund a’ festival tool kit’ hopefully to reduce festivals re-occurring expenditure.

The meeting heard of the eight objectives where substantial progress has been made.

Examples being, establish a working relationship with local authorities to promote member interests, financially supporting existing festivals and prime funding additional events, developing internet trading tools to allow members to compete with online businesses, promoting Kendal as a coach tour destination, part-funding the visit Kendal website and pushing our own social media to support it, investigating potential to fund it by advertising, work with businesses to increase the Kendal leaflet & trail library, launching the new A4 Kendal Guide with maps and free business listings.

BID also financially supported the ‘not for profit’ Fantastic Kendal TIC visitor hub, with a small grant at the beginning of its tenure, and market rent for BIDs use of serviced offices. This volunteer-staffed service has proved popular with local people and visitors, not only from across the UK and Europe, but they’re also visiting Kendal from the wider world. People from Chile, Argentina, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore, Japan, Korea. South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe have all used the information service. The volunteer staff tell us that a stand-alone information business might not survive because customers generally expect information and advice to be free, but in reality, somebody pays. The positive is those visitors and local people who use the service reported enjoying  Kendal and being pleasantly surprised by what the town had to offer. The board recorded their thanks to the volunteers, they help make the service affordable.

To see the business plan in its entirety plus minutes of meetings and accounts  going back to BID inception please visit https://www.kendalbid.co.uk

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