Jewellery Quarter BID Prospectus launch marks start of ballot process
The Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT) is hosting a breakfast event to launch a Prospectus for a Business Improvement District (BID), which, if successful, will see local businesses fund improvements in their area.
The event, which will be attended by invited stakeholders and council delegates, marks the launch of the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQ BID) Prospectus, ahead of the ballot that commences next month (April). Invited guests include Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Randal Brew OBE and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anita Ward.
The JQ BID aims to attract investment, increase visitor numbers and encourage a more vibrant economy, while making the area a better place in which to work, invest and live.
Around 550 local businesses are being asked to vote to support the initiative, which will see companies with premises with a rateable value above £10,000 pay an extra annual levy of 2% to fund additional investment for the benefit of the whole area.
Over the past six months the JQDT, which is leading the BID in partnership with Birmingham City Council, has hosted a series of consultation meetings and a drop-in day to enable business owners and potential levy payers to meet the team behind the BID and find out more about its plans.
Dave Mahony, chair of the JQDT and managing director of PCPT Architects in Spencer Street, said: “If ever an area was tailor-made for a BID it is the Jewellery Quarter with its unique blend of business and heritage, manufacturing, private investment and ownerships and its skilled, creative people who take great pride in the place. The JQDT is determined to succeed in getting a positive BID outcome for the area.
“The BID will not only give us a strategic voice alongside other Birmingham BIDs, such as Southside, Retail, Colmore Row and Broad Street, but it should also raise around £455,000 a year to address the improvements needed in the Jewellery Quarter. Decisions on those priorities will be made by the levy payers.
“It’s imperative that the Jewellery Quarter community takes greater control and ownership of the area’s future prosperity and becomes the driver for the continued regeneration of the Quarter.”
Councillor Randal Brew OBE, who is championing the JQ BID and has a business in the Quarter, said: “I am delighted to be attending the Jewellery Quarter BID Prospectus launch. It is an important initiative for the Quarter and a great opportunity for businesses to shape the future of the area. I urge potential levy payers to embrace the Prospectus and vote for a positive outcome.”
The Jewellery Quarter BID Prospectus launch event will take place at University College Birmingham’s Summer Row campus on Wednesday 14th March, 8.30am. The Prospectus will then be distributed to all businesses in the Quarter with a rateable value of £10,000 or above.
The ballot – managed and organised by an independent organisation, the Electoral Reform Society – will take place over five weeks, starting on April 17.
The board of the JQDT decided in early-summer 2011 to support the BID proposal and develop the initiative in partnership with Birmingham City Council. Being a Community Interest Company, the JQDT is made up of those key representative bodies and stakeholder organisations from within the Jewellery Quarter, including the Jewellery Quarter Association, the Jewellery Quarter Marketing Initiative, the Jewellery Quarter Trade Alliance and the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Forum.
The trust board agreed that a levy of 2% should be set on all properties with a rateable value of £10,000 and above and that the Jewellery Quarter BID area would be defined as the area bounded by Great Charles Street, Livery Street, Great Hampton Street, Key Hill Drive, Icknield Street, Sandpits/The Parade and Summer Row.
The BID would help to improve the Jewellery Quarter in many ways, including increased security through expanded CCTV, better lighting, local-based police presence, enhanced street cleaning and maintenance; better signage, accessibility and information; environmental initiatives; and more effective marketing of the unique area. Ultimately, it will help to increase the profile of the area and encourage business networking to bring in more visitors and businesses to help the local economy.