Birkenhead First, Wirral’s first ever Business Improvement District (BID), has been launched.
The Birkenhead First Steering Group has welcomed three Birkenhead First Town Hosts which have been appointed to welcome and direct visitors, enabling them to fully enjoy their time in the area, to find the town’s hidden gems as well as its retail core. The Town Hosts will be the public face of the BID, ensuring that the town is clean and tidy and will act as a highly visible deterrent for anti-social behaviour.
Welcome teams, as laid out in the Birkenhead BID Business Plan, have already taken shape in towns and cities such as Rugby, Lincoln and Bath with great success. The Birkenhead Town Hosts will be supported by the Wirral Against Business Crime initiative, which is an established and respected programme to reduce the impacts of crime on local businesses.
Joining the Town Hosts is Dominga Devitt, Birkenhead First Events Executive, with a Birkenhead First Press and PR Executive set to join the team in the coming weeks.
Together, this team will deliver a range of initiatives designed by local businesses to make the town safer, secure, cleaner and more attractive while improving the marketing and promotion of Birkenhead as a visitor destination.
Finally, Business Growth Consultant, Dawn Kelly, will work closely with the town’s businesses to ensure that they are supported to develop and thrive in Birkenhead.
The Birkenhead First team will focus on encouraging people to visit Birkenhead more often, stay longer and invest more in the town centre. It will also work with all business sectors to enhance the overall experience for town centre visitors, shoppers and workers alike.
The recruitment of the Birkenhead First team follows months of work in securing a BID initiative for the area by Birkenhead businesses and Wirral Chamber of Commerce, who will manage the initiative.
Commenting on the launch of Birkenhead First, Paula Basnett CEO of Wirral Chamber of Commerce said: “Today marks the culmination of more than a year of work by local businesses to introduce a Business Improvement District. The Birkenhead First Team will be the public face of the BID and will be responsible for ensuring that visitors to Birkenhead enjoy a first class experience.”
Throughout 2016 there will be a full and diverse calendar of events to support businesses in the area and bring Birkenhead back into the public eye in a positive way. A full programme of events are being organised which will include a launch for the town’s businesses on 27th April at Birkenhead Town Hall. It will also promote a diverse range of other events aimed at bringing footfall back to the town centre, such as a guided tour of some of the town’s most haunted spots at the Birkenhead Buggens Night, on 9th June.
Paula Basnett summarised: “Birkenhead First is committed to bringing footfall back to the area which add quality and benefits to the visitor, business and retail economies. The initiative has the backing of businesses throughout the BID area, so together we can really can make a change.”
In December 2015 businesses voted overwhelmingly in favour of introducing a Business Improvement District in central Birkenhead. Following a 28 day postal ballot over 85% of the participating businesses voted YES for change in four key areas: cleanliness and attractiveness, safety and security, marketing and promotion, and supporting businesses.
Birkenhead First officially launched in April 2016. For more information on Birkenhead First please download the BID Business Plan.
Birkenhead First is led by a private sector Steering Group. Its members represent a broad spectrum of businesses and key organisations in the town. Members include representatives of:
Wirral Chamber of Commerce, McEwan Wallace, Hillyer McKeown, McDonald’s, Marks & Spencer, Wirral Council, Wirral YMCA, Wirral Radio, Pyramids Shopping Centre, Smith and Sons and Wirral Globe.
For details of the latest news and events please follow the BID on Twitter @birkenheadbid or get in touch by email - firstname.lastname@example.org.