Newport Now launches 2020-25 Business Plan05/10/2019
NEXT month, the Newport Now Business Improvement District will be asking all BID businesses to vote on a new BID proposal and business plan for a second five-year term.
Eligible businesses in the city centre voted via a ballot in 2014 to set up a BID and Newport Now began operations in April 2015.
All BIDs – there are now more than 300 across the UK – have a maximum life span of five years before going back to ballot. Newport Now is in its fifth and final year of operation and levy payers will decide whether to renew it for a further five years via a postal ballot that opens on Thursday, October 31 and closes on Thursday, November 28.
Newport Now BID – a private not-for-profit company financed by its members via a small levy based on their rateable value – will have invested more than £1.2 million delivering business-led initiatives by the end of its five-year term next March.
These advances and benefits will continue with new projects for the five years from 2020 - but only if businesses vote YES. But a NO vote will see all BID services and projects cease on March 31 next year.
The BID launched its new business plan for 2020-25 at a special event at the Riverfront Theatre on Thursday attended by Levy payers, stakeholders and civic dignitaries including the Mayor and Mayoress of Newport (pictured).
The business plan sets out Newport Now’s priorities for its second term and follows an extensive consultation during the summer that saw more than 350 businesses contacted face-to-face, and a detailed online survey.
The consultation indicated the majority of city centre businesses wanted the BID to continue delivering the projects and services across three themed areas:
- Welcome to Newport (improving the street environment and access, changing perceptions and helping to create a vibrant city centre)
- Safe & Secure Newport (creating a more welcoming city centre experience)
- Future Newport (city centre strategy and business support)
If the BID receives a YES vote during the November ballot, its second term will begin next April. Current projects will continue – including the Street Ambassadors, Savings Advisory Service, Newport Gift Card, Shopfront Improvement Grants, and the delivery or sponsorship of events like Countdown to Christmas, the Festival of Classics, Record Store Day and the Big Splash.
In its second term, Newport Now plans to provide a taxi marshal service at an appropriate rank on Friday and Saturday nights and to help the night-time economy by applying successfully for Purple Flag status.
A renewed Newport Now would also extend the BID area to include parts of Clarence Place, Rodney Parade, the east riverfront, Mill Street, Clytha Park Road and the former Sainsbury’s site on Wyndham Street.
The changes will allow a renewed BID to invest more than £1.3 million in the city centre between 2020 and 2025.
The BID’s 2020-25 business plan is available to download here