Bedminster Town Team and Business Improvement District
In May 2012 TownCentred advised Bedminster Neighbourhood Partnership in their application to become one of the first Town Teams in the UK and successfully secured one of only twelve Town Team 'pilots' including £100K government grant in a competition attracting nearly 400 entries. This grant was almost doubled in the first six months of operation through various 'leveraging' of other public agencies such as the council and Arts Council before being quadrupled in April 2013 with the successful creation of a Business Improvement District that guaranteed a further £400K for Bedminster's retail streets over the subsequent five years.
Bedminster’s location relative to Bristol is the same as Shoreditch to London – city fringe, with a declining light industrial employment base. Our aims upon winning Town Team status was to future-proof the local high streets and future-proof the local economy by combining the existing retail offer with arts, creative and media based businesses. Our stated vision was to:
Exploit and eventually explode the gap between art, advertising and entertainment, high street retailing and real estate development’ drawing on some of the lessons of Shoreditch which has reinvented itself as the UK government’s vision for the ‘largest concentration of creativity, media and technology in Europe.
Specific achievements in the first 9 months of the commission include:
- creation of the Business Improvement District which entailed the successful consultation and campaigning of c250 businesses to create the BID platform via a vote which was an overwhelmingly positive 85% in favour
- launch of the 'Beautiful Bugs of Bedminster', Paradise Gardens Multimedia, Street Fayres/Markets (including street closures), high quality street art, 'pocket-parks', and Christmas lights projects;
- exploiting social media platform in which the Facebook element alone is peaking at 35,000 hits per week;
- reduction in Bedminster's retail vacancy rates that fell from 8.4% to a 4-year low of 6.5% in 2012, compared to almost no change in the rate city-wide over the same period.
Three years later TownCentred continue to advise the Town Team and BID. For details further details of recent projects and achievments: