Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)
Densification, Retrofitting and Urban Villages
George Grace advised Bournemouth Borough Council on the delivery options for its ambitious 20 year Town Centre regeneration project known as the Town Centre Vision and in particular on the creation of its ground breaking Local Asset Backed Vehicle , a joint venture between the Council and Morgan Sindall Investments .
Town centre regeneration is a complex, multi-disciplinary process and George's depth of knowledge and expert experience across property, retail development and public private partnerships brought a new dimension to our team and overall strategic direction. The approach recommended by George was integral to our later successes as a BID and continues to inform our development as we go forward.
His thoughtful, considered and genuinely collaborative approach has always produced innovative, cost effective and deliverable solutions, whilst his passion for delivering high quality town centre environments was infectious and rubbed off on all our team member. On a personal level, I really enjoyed working with George and continue to regularly turn to him for expert support and advice on town/urban centre revival.
George worked with us during Paddington's original BID campaign. He delivered outstanding levels of business engagement, particularly cracking the smaller retail sector and selling the BID concept when there were no examples of BIDs elsewhere in the country at the time to point to. George has a charming nature and genuine thirst for seeking out, developing and sharing town centre best practice.
I would have no hesitation in recommending George to clients.
Kay Buxton, Chief Executive, Paddington Waterside Partnership
George Grace and I have worked together for over a year, starting with co-authoring a successful proposal for £100K of Mary Portas Funds: one of the initial 12 out of nearly 400 applications. We found that George knew about retailing and I knew the local community, so we became a good team drawing in support from traders, local officials and community activists. We adopted a ‘let’s get on with it approach’ which gained much local support. Of course, there were differences of opinion and lots of debate, but this led to firm decisions so that people knew where they stood and where we were going. Our Mary Portas Year raised the profile of the retail streets with local people by a programme of art works and markets and encouraged our 450 businesses to think beyond their shop door. George’s hard work, determination, enthusiasm and very wide knowledge and experience was invaluable here. The proof of the pudding was an 85% endorsement of our proposal to establish a Business Improvement District. That’s now underway.