BRADFORD’S new Business Improvement District has revealed that it will be based in offices in the city’s “top of the town” area.
The BID will be occupying a first-floor office in a historic building in North Parade which has recently been refurbished and converted into a centre for co-working.
Assembly Bradford is located in the upstairs part of the listed Edwardian commercial chamber and provides serviced office, events and shared working space for a number of small businesses and freelance workers including designers, marketing experts, web developers, animators, architects, writers, fundraisers and illustrators.
Ian Ward, chairman of the BID and general manager at The Broadway shopping centre, said: “We’re keen to support all areas of the city centre and we’re thrilled to have found this ideal office space in such a lovely old building.
“North Parade is a very special part of the city centre and an important part of Bradford’s built heritage and it fits brilliantly with our ethos of supporting local businesses, especially new and growing ones, while keeping the BID’s central cost base at reasonable and affordable levels.
“We want as much of our levy revenue as possible to be spent on actual projects and services that benefit and improve the city centre rather than on administration costs.”
Haigh Simpson, one of Assembly Bradford’s directors, said: “We are delighted that the BID will be occupying an office in Assembly and excited to see what positive developments the team will bring to the city centre.
“We hope to see a mutually beneficial relationship develop between our community of freelancers, small businesses and the BID team, and look forward to welcoming many new visitors to our space as a result of the BID’s presence.”
A number of other city centre businesses are also set to benefit from BID contracts and support.
Law firm Gordons, who are based in Duke Street, will be handling the BID’s legal affairs, and Naylor Wintersgill, based in Grammar School Street, will look after its accounts.
IT support will be provided by internet services provider Exa Networks, whose offices are in Bolton Road, and they will be installing their ultra-fast dark fibre broadband to the BID offices to help make its operations as efficient as possible.
Mr Ward said: “The delivery of the BID’s Business Plan will be supported by the introduction and implementation of an interactive dashboard and reporting system to facilitate all aspects of our projects and Exa’s brilliant high-speed internet will be the bedrock of ensuring that our digital communications are as fast as they can be.”
Mark Cowgill, co-founder and director of Exa Networks, said: “We have been huge supporters of the BID from the outset and we’re thrilled to be able to help get it up and running by supplying our DarkLight internet as well as our technical support and expertise.”
Nearly 80 per cent of participating city centre businesses voted in favour of setting up the BID in a ballot last month. It will operate for an initial five-year term and the levy on the 630 businesses included in the BID zone will raise more than £2.5 million to be spent on city centre improvements.
Under the Safe, Clean, Alive and Promoted pillars, the BID will work on improving the cleanliness and general appearance of the city centre, help to ensure it feels safe and inviting, organise and support new attractions and events, market and promote the city to local, regional and national audiences and provide a voice for businesses to lobby for more investment and other improvements.