THE CHAIRMAN and co-owner of Bradford Bulls has joined the team backing plans for a Business Improvement District in the city centre.
Andrew Chalmers (pictured) says the BID is an “exciting project” and he is urging business owners to “Vote Yes!” when the ballot papers are issued on September 13.
“The city of Bradford and the various businesses and stakeholders within it have proudly supported the Bulls for many years and we are only too happy to take any opportunity we have to return that support for such an exciting project as the BID,” he said.
“We are a proud community in Bradford and our success in future will be as a result of co-operation and the combining of all the fantastic business and community assets we have for the greater benefit of the city.
“A vibrant and cohesive central business district is fundamental to the growth of any City and so we fully support the BID concept.”
Mr Chalmers, the former chairman of New Zealand Rugby League, who has co-owned the district’s senior RL club with Graham Lowe since January 2017, believes the BID will bring substantial benefits for the city centre.
“The proposal to combine current expenditures such as Christmas decorations, promotional and advertising with a centralised and focused purpose, for instance, will see greater efficiencies, and ultimately, greater results for the city centre and all businesses and visitors,” he said. “The combined power of so many businesses will, of course, see advertising and promotional campaigns obtain wider recognition and success.”
He said the BID would also benefit Bulls fans: “Our supporters shop in and visit the city centre regularly and many are employed by businesses locally or are business owners themselves.
“A successful BID will be a great help for all of them either directly or indirectly. A strong Bradford city business centre is very good for the city and any success our city has is good for the Bulls.”
The BID project, which would deliver £2.5 million of improvements over five years, goes to a ballot from September 13 to October 11, when more than 630 businesses and other city-centre based organisations will be asked to vote in favour of a levy of up to 1.25 per cent on their business rates. The proceeds would be spent on four key “pillars” – Safe, Clean, Alive and Promoted – to improve the safety, cleanliness, vitality and marketing of Bradford’s retail heart.
Mr Chalmers urged everyone with a vote to get behind the BID when the time comes.
“We need to support each other as citizens, community organisations and businesses wherever possible to assist our city to grow and prosper,” he said.
“By pooling resources and promoting our city centre business district together we can achieve so much for the city of Bradford and improve the city centre not only for the businesses located there, but for all Bradfordians to shop, welcome visitors, and trade on our doorstep.”
Ian Ward, chairman of the BID development board, said: “The Bulls and their tens of thousands of supporters are a crucial part of the city’s sporting and cultural heritage and the make-up of our community so their support is hugely significant.
“We’re really grateful to Andrew Chalmers for his unequivocal support of the BID. It helps to show that you don’t have to be based in the city centre to see the value of the BID to the wider city and all those who live and work in it and enjoy its facilities.”