LeedsBID reveals its new five year plan for the city

Damien Hirst sulpture on Briggate summer 2019. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Damien Hirst sulpture on Briggate summer 2019. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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LeedsBID has revealed its new five year business plan, outlining what it wants to achieve for the city by 2025.

It will be LeedsBIDs Term Two Business Plan with a commitment to the city’s creative, cultural and artistic efforts.

Kanya King MBE, founder of the MOBO Awards with Coun Adam Ogilvie and Andrew Cooper Chief Executive of the Leeds Bid by Leeds signage in Leeds City Station changed in a nod to the MOBO's which the city hosted in 2017. 'Picture Tony Johnson

Kanya King MBE, founder of the MOBO Awards with Coun Adam Ogilvie and Andrew Cooper Chief Executive of the Leeds Bid by Leeds signage in Leeds City Station changed in a nod to the MOBO's which the city hosted in 2017. 'Picture Tony Johnson

Impressive displays such as a huge Damien Hirst sculpture this summer on Briggate, the Leeds Jurassic Trail and the city’s Welcome Ambassadors are just some of the highlights of the millions of pounds being given by businesses in the city centre, to improve the experience of shoppers, visitors and Leeds people alike.

Businesses that pay into the LeedsBID levy will have a month to vote on whether they agree with the proposals and whether they want LeedsBID to continue into a second term.

The summit, entitled LeedsBID: The Next Chapter, was held at City Varieties Music Hall.

Chief executive Andrew Cooper said the city has weathered the recent storm faced by retailers “pretty well”.

Art Commision paid by the Leeds Bid, outside Leeds Market..Artist Nathan Evans left with Andrew Cooper the Chief Executive of the Leeds Business Improvement District. Picture by Simon Hulme

Art Commision paid by the Leeds Bid, outside Leeds Market..Artist Nathan Evans left with Andrew Cooper the Chief Executive of the Leeds Business Improvement District. Picture by Simon Hulme

Mr Cooper said that the LeedsBID had been successful in bringing businesses, that normally wouldn’t collaborate, together.

“Rather than facing some of those challenges in isolation,” he said, “when we work collaboratively we can start to address them.”

Mr Cooper added: “The larger businesses have seen the benefits of working collaboratively.

“Business that ordinarily wouldn’t sit around a table together – some of whom are competitors – are actually working for the collective good.

“Why? Because they want to see Leeds do well.”

The chief executive of the LeedsBID highlighted the recent Leeds Jurassic Trail that it helped organise as an example of businesses coming together for the benefit of everyone.

LeedsBID unveiled a business plan detailing over £14m of investment in the city centre between 2020 and 2025.

Mr Cooper called on all levy paying businesses to vote to give the BID a second term.

The difference between the first business plan and this one is that the BID has greater clarity as to what businesses want to see, says Mr Cooper.

Since being established in 2015, LeedsBID has managed and provided investment to over 40 projects, including the Welcome Ambassadors, Street Rangers and the summer deckchairs.

The organisation has also been behind some of the city's biggest annual events such as Leeds International Festival, Eat Leeds and the Leeds Jurassic Trail, as well as unique recycling projects, business training programmes and more.

He said 75 per cent of the plan was going to be a continuation of the work it was already doing.

“The key difference for me is the 25 per cent of our business plan, which is totally new and innovative,” Mr Cooper added.

The new elements of the business plan concentrates on the green agenda as well as being more innovative through the events the organisation puts on.

LeedsBID is also looking into the feasibility of growing the BID to include the waterfront south of the River Aire.

Mr Cooper said that with Leeds city centre on target to double in size over the coming years, the South Bank regeneration area is of considerable importance.

LeedsBID is aiming to act as connector and catalyst in supporting the changing needs of businesses and organisations in the area.

Since the LeedsBID was launched back in 2015, Business Improvement Districts have grown across Yorkshire and Mr Cooper says the different BIDs are already working together by sharing ideas.

Levy payers will have the opportunity to vote on the second term from October 10 to November 7.

Leeds BID In figures:

506,751 people were engaged with by Leeds Welcome Ambassadors from March 2016-July 2019

More than 10m impressions across all LeedsBID social media platforms

120 businesses with 226 learners undergoing training at Ambition:Leeds (April-June 2019)

15,000 people engaged at one Leeds International Festival 2019 - 62 events at 31 venues

8 Welcome ambassadors walking an average of 10 miles a day - that’s a grand total of 124,000 miles covered by the team since first stepping out on the city’s streets

What is LeedsBID?

The Leeds Business Improvement District is an exciting initiative developed by the city’s business community in recent years.

Representing 986 businesses and organisations, LeedsBID is focused on delivering an ambitious business plan to transform Leeds city centre – improving experiences, standards and adding value for all city users.

Leading on innovative projects and providing key investment, it aims to make Leeds city centre a cleaner, safer and more welcoming place, raising its profile nationally and internationally with new, diverse and prestigious events and exciting marketing campaigns.

Established in April 2015, LeedsBID was voted for by city’s businesses and endorsed by the public sector. It was the 200th BID in the UK and is the largest outside of London.

Businesses within the BID area with a rateable value of £60,000 or above are required to make an annual contribution (a levy) of 1.25%, resulting in £2.4m investment per year into the city centre – more than £12m over the BID’s initial five-year term.