BRADFORD’S own national museum says it has already voted in favour of setting up a business improvement district in the city centre and now it is urging others to get behind the “exciting” plans.
Jo Quinton-Tulloch, director of the National Science and Media Museum (NSMM), pictured, says the BID will provide significant benefits for the city if it gets the go-ahead when the ballot result is announced on October 12.
“Since the Bradford BID business plan was launched here at the National Science and Media Museum to a great reception, excitement around the project has only increased,” she said.
“It is clear to me that the Bradford BID offers significant benefits for us and the many other organisations and businesses in the city.
“Bradford already has a lot to offer, more than some people realise. Delivering the BID’s ambition to promote and animate the city will only make it more attractive.”
Earlier this year, the NSMM celebrated its highest annual visitor figures since 2009/10. Between April 1, 2017, and March 31, this year, it welcomed 505,000 visits, compared to 405,000 for the same period in 2016/17—a 25 per cent increase, year-on-year.
During that period the museum rebranded to focus on the science and culture of image and sound technology, opened a new permanent gallery, Wonderlab, and exhibited Tim Peake’s spacecraft.
Ms Quinton-Tulloch said: “At the museum we hope the BID will mean continuing to attract numbers from beyond Bradford district, and the improved visitor journey will have benefits for the city’s hotels, shops and restaurants.
“We’re excited to be helping Bradford be seen as a place to spend a day, a weekend, or even longer, benefitting all those involved in this scheme.”
Voting in the postal ballot of 630 city centre businesses and organisations which make up the BID area has been taking place since September 13. The ballot closes on October 11.
If the BID goes ahead, it expects to collect about £2.5 million over five years through a levy on businesses with a rateable value of more than £12,000. A small business valued at £15,000 would pay just £3.61 a week and a business with an RV of £65,000 would pay £15.63 weekly.
The levy income will be managed by a new company run by local businesses, through an operating board, which will decide how the money will be spent in delivering the four pillars of the business plan – Safe, Clean, Alive and Promoted.
Ian Ward, chair of the BID development board, said: “We have had fabulous support for the BID project from the NSMM right from the start and I’m thrilled – but not surprised – to hear that they have already voted Yes in the ballot.
“The museum already does a huge amount for Bradford by bringing in tourists and visitors which, in turn, help to boost the local economy, and if the BID goes ahead we will look forward to working closely with them to help make the experience even better for those who come here.”