Project categories: 
Business Engagement
Business Improvement District
Town centre
  • Southall Shoes
Southall Regeneration Partnership

Reviewing the Town Centre Strategy & establishing the case and prospect for a Business Improvement District (BID) in Southall

Project Description: 

We undertook a scoping study to explore the potential for establishing a Business Improvement District in Southall. The study identified sufficient interest and scope of possible works to warrant taking the work on to the next stage.

As part of this next stage we were asked to review the progress made in respect of implementing the Southall Town Centre Strategy 2002 - 2012. It also set about an extensive programme of consultation to establish:

  • Views of area, needs and priorities
  • Commitment to town centre strategy and action plan
  • Interest and support of BID process (to include 20% support for going forward with a BID vote - assuming 400 hereditaments, i.e. 80 ‘pledges') Interviews were held with 153 businesses, followed by two focus groups. In many respects the findings were depressing. The majority (75%) of traders reported flat or declining sales.

Retiring traders were reluctant to lose their freeholds and often subdivided retail units to form bazaars. Shoppers were deserting the centre for a more ‘modern' shopping experience elsewhere. Others blamed the poor environment, lack of progress on development sites and, inevitably, car parking.

However there was broad agreement on the issues that needed to be tackled, and also a positive - if cautious - welcome for a possible BID.

The means identified a group of traders interested in coming together with others to form a partnership, and mapped out the marketing, operational and procedural steps which would then need to be undertaken in establishing a BID in Southall. It produced an extensive database of occupier contacts in Southall and began the task of comparing this with the council's own non-domestic rating database. It developed a brand identity has been developed and produced three pieces of marketing collateral - a ‘calling card', newsletter and web site.