Project categories: 
Town centre
Business Improvement District
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce (with a loan from Southampton City Council)

To engage and support businesses in the creation of a City Centre BID, including testing its feasibility, assisting in the development of BID Proposals, running the ballot campaign and setting up the BID post-ballot. Subsequently, The means were also approached to provide interim management for the BID during a time of transition.

August 2015 to May 2018
Project Description: 

The means was commissioned in August 2015 by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, with a loan from Southampton City Council, to test the feasibility of a BID in Southampton City Centre and, if feasible, to help businesses deliver a successful BID ballot.

Southampton is a significant city in the south of England but was one of the few remaining major cities without a Business Improvement District. This status was the legacy of a failed BID ballot in 2009 that left the city centre without a Business Improvement District, just as numbers were increasing elsewhere.

The means explored lessons from the attempt in 2009 and conducted a feasibility study, engaging with over 100 businesses through face-to-face interviews and a large, well-attended event to discuss a future vision for the BID. Out of this work, a strong and enthusiastic Steering Group emerged who The means helped to develop more detailed BID Proposals in preparation for submission to the local billing authority. The means subsequently ran the successful ballot campaign alongside business champions and managed the setup as well as a subsequent period of interim BID management.

Southampton already has a lot to be proud of, but its City Centre has the potential to be competing on a national rather than a regional level. With support from The means, the new BID has been working towards this aim. We are proud to be associated with a BID of such high ambitions, working in such a significant city, and look forward to its future success.