Southport BID's 1st
quarterly meeting of 2017
THE Southport BID
held an 'Open Levy Payer Meeting' on Thursday 2 February 2017, at
the Bold Hotel, on Lord Street. The meeting was held mostly to highlight the
Business Improvement Districts' achievements to date and to highlight what they
are planning to do in 2017.
This was the first time we have been invited to cover a meeting and it was
extremely interesting to watch and hear the views of all parties attending. We
are also told that it was the biggest attendance they have had yet.
The night started with an introduction about what they are and what they have
done in 2016, along with a quick background of the work before that. They then
went on to say what's due to happen in 2017, with the main focus being on the
Open Golf championship, , that are due to be
held at Royal Birkdale, in July (2017)
The presentation for the Open was given by Golf Project Manager, Simon Carrigan,
from Sefton Council, who started the talk with a video which showed the Open's
advertisement that is being shown to clubs and golf enthusiasts all over the
world. He then went on to explain what the local Council and the BID hope to do
to capitalise on this world class event being held in Southport.
The meeting then moved on to cover what the town is doing to improve nightlife
and the general feel of the Town.
The remainder of the event was an open question session. During this, the BID
faced a barrage of very heavy questioning. Questions ranged from worries about
why in the views of many 'planning is so far behind' for the Open
and around fears that the town will be unable to capitalise on the event,
especially as this year there is a new policy set by the R&A Championships, that
will see spectators having to stay in the grounds once they arrive and not being
able to return once they leave, on that day.
Others worry that the town is not doing enough to encourage those attending to
head in to the Town Centre and shops will again miss out. As a result a few
suggestions came about, that included the use of large video screens, showing
off the Town at the venue and also a free bus shuttle service to and from the
Another question raised was also what will be on offer to keep people in the
Town Centre, over the event. This led to some very interesting ideas being put
forward to the teams involved. But what is clear is that, with the complexity of
planning involved, many feel that the do it now approach is last minute. Others
pointed out that this is just one event and that is does not help all the
businesses within the Town.
Other issues raised include the Parking question. This was again a hot topic
with many asking what the attitude of the BID and Sefton was over this topic.
The fact some businesses find it hard to pay the levy in a one off, yearly
payment, and are asking why they can't pay in instalments. Again this was
addressed by the BID, but this, as with the general parking charges will remain
a very sore topic and a flash point at future meetings to come.
Many of the local businesses have also expressed their growing frustration about
the amount of mess around the Town and the growing amount of vacant properties
that are looking increasingly run down. Suggestions were made that the Council
should look at doing window wraps on the buildings, much like they did for
Capital of Culture Liverpool in 2008. We are told that the BID are trying to do
this, but are finding it increasingly difficult to get property owners to help
them achieve to do this. That led on to a suggestion by our Editor, that the
local businesses should use the local media to help the BID to put pressure on
these businesses, to allow this to take place. It was also pointed out that by
doing this type of thing, like they did in Liverpool, it not only makes the area
look better, but also the property, so is a benefit to the owners of that
property to allow it to take place. As seen in Liverpool, if the area looks on
the up and not the down, investment follows!
here to see more
photos taken by us at this meeting.
If you have a building you think requires a makeover wrap being put on it,
please let us know, via emailing us to:-
News24@SouthportReporter.com and give us the location and also any
information you can about who is letting it or selling it.
Please also let us know your views on any of the topics raised at the meeting
and any other related topics. As was said in the meeting, remember, the local
media, especially the regulated media like ourselves, the Champion and Southport
Visitor, are here to help you. But we cannot do this without your input. Also,
you must look at the accredited media more, as we can do far more than
un-accredited 'news' groups.
The last thing that came out is that we should look at pushing more positive
news and not concentrating on the negative, but again, this can only be done via
supporting the regulated media along with social media and un-regulated
blog/form websites, such as OTS.