The re-election of Mansfield Business Improvement District is a great result, not just for the BID and its hard-working team of course, but for Mansfield town centre.
After a four-week ballot, co-ordinated by the Electoral Reform Society, the BID was given a clear mandate to operate for a new five-year term. And it was a very strong vote in favour.
More than 560 levy payers in the town’s BID area were able to cast their vote. There was a 55 per cent turnout, with 77 per cent of businesses who voted saying Yes.
That’s a fantastic figure.
To give that context, in December last year, Hinckley BID had its first renewal ballot.
It was successful with a 51 per cent turnout and the percentage of those in favour at 65 per cent.
In Wolverhampton, the new BID there saw a turnout of 42 per cent and in favour the percentage was 86.
Many of Mansfield BID’s achievements to date can be found by visiting www.mansfieldbid.com/achievements, but highlights include introducing free public WI-FI to the town centre, recycling schemes for businesses, cleansing work, event management and helping to attract thousands of people into the town centre.
The WI-FI was funded through crowd-sourcing, bringing an additional £30,000 into the town, and events such as the garden festival attracted 12,000 people over two days.
While we can’t do everything, as local authorities have responsibility for certain things, everything that the BID does is about making the town centre better for business and visitors alike.
Going forward, as well as continuing core services, we are working on projects such as submitting townscape and enterprise heritage lottery funding applications and extending Wi-Fi technology for improved intelligence sharing.
We are also looking at running bigger annual events, bigger customer service awards and developing a USP for Mansfield as part of the Healthy High Street campaign.
In addition to working in partnership with local businesses and councils, we are working with the likes of Boots, Marks & Spencer and Santander on initiatives that will breathe new life into Mansfield.
There is a lot of work to be done still and we’re delighted to be a part of something that is making a real difference.