Business districts: from Town Teams to Business Improvement Districts, we are at the forefront of helping commercial organisations collaborate and improve their place

The means has outstanding experience working with the private sector. We help our clients to think beyond the boundaries of their own premises or scheme, and contribute to the making of a ‘whole place’. We have experience across a range of models, from Town Centre Partnerships to Business Improvement Districts. We were involved in the pioneering of Business Improvement Districts in the UK, establishing the country’s 3rd BID in Better Bankside, and are now involved in the emergence of Innovation Districts.

If you want to tier up from a simple meeting of businesses to a highly-sophisticated business-led agency, call us! We can:

  • Constitute and build the capacity of your Town Centre Partnership or traders group
  • Test the feasibility of a possible BID, and take it to ballot – Set up your BID, recruit its staff and procure its early services
  • Plan and implement projects, with the help of The means’ Placemakers
  • Navigate the public sector and deliver measurable change in relationships

If you are a Business Improvement District and need advice or support, get in touch. We can:

  • Conduct Performance Reviews and offer focussed advice, including: Governance / Systems Audit and Mid-Term Reviews
  • Provide ongoing mentoring or one-off training for BID boards
  • Help you focus on what matters and avoid bumps in the run up to Renewal Ballots, by providing strategic advice, support and planning

Key contacts

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Mandy Jenkins

Project Manager

Mandy is Project Manager at The means and is based within our Welsh team. She has over nine years’ project management experience in the public and private sectors and was most recently South Wales Regional Project Manager for the Welsh Government’s flagship £22million digital inclusion programme. A graduate in European Union Studies from Cardiff University, Mandy is a fluent French and Spanish speaker. She spent several years working for two high profile MEPs where she worked on a number of successful election campaigns. Mandy is currently working with several businesses across south Wales to assist in the development of BIDs.

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Louise Abbotts

Project Manager

Lou Abbotts currently splits her time between managing InStreatham Business Improvement District, where she lives and works, and delivering strategic oversight for Be Richmond, the BID for Richmond Town Centre.

With a first-class honours degree in Arts Management from London South Bank University she has devised and delivered a number of high profile projects and events at establishments such as Southbank Centre, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Tate Modern and Theatre503.

She was Business Liaison Manager at innovative South London BID; Better Bankside between 2008-2010 where she spearheaded its first renewal ballot campaign with the ballot attracting a high turnout and a positive result of 82% by number and 86% by rateable value (RV). She has now replicated that success with InStreatham securing a further five-year term for the BID delivering a 45% turnout with 83% voting Yes by Number and 95% by RV. Lou is now supporting the Be Richmond Board and staff team as they move towards a re-ballot in 2022 against one of the most challenging landscapes for High Streets in the 21st Century.

Lou is passionate about culture-led change and aims to be a conduit to allow communities to realise their vision for a better place to call home.

Her focus is on stakeholder engagement, building strong community networks and inclusive place making.

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Susie Barlow

Senior Programme Manager

Susie has worked with The means since 2013 and specialises in place management, engagement, BID development and consultancy. She has led on a number of successful BID ballot campaigns, from feasibility through to company set-up and delivery of the program, most recently fulfilling the role of interim Chief Exec for WeAreWaterloo.

Motivated by the challenge of fostering collaboration between stakeholders to achieve shared ambitions, Susie’s recent projects include facilitating two local business groups both on the doorstep of major London development sites. She is also leading a project to engage and support SMEs towards Net Zero Carbon.

Susie has a degree in Corporate Communications which included a semester at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, she previously worked for the Energy Saving Trust and other environmental non-profit organisations.


07803 503 974

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