Why Fleet needs a BID (Business Improvement District)

Since summer 2015, businesses in Fleet have been working on a proposal for Fleet to become a Business Improvement District. Businesses will be able to vote in this proposal in February/March 2017.

Here, in our first of a series of articles on the Business Improvement District, we explain why businesses in Fleet need to vote YES for a Business Improvement District (BID).

Fleet is the main town in Hart District and offers a wide range of commercial businesses, retail and leisure experiences.  It hosts both independent and multiple businesses, a performance centre and a surprising number of popular events, including a Food Festival, a Christmas Festival, summer Carnival, a Half Marathon and Fireworks Event.

However, competition from neighbouring towns is increasing. Camberley, Basingstoke, Guidlford and Winchester have already established successful Business Improvement Districts and Waverley Council has recently announced a £100m investment to regenerate Farnham town.  Farnborough and Aldershot have been identified by the M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as of strategic importance with a growth package and investment plan developed for Aldershot.

We also know that the last few years have seen the rise of online shopping, as well as out of town shopping offering easy access and free parking.   So pressure is increasing on Fleet retailers and businesses.  Fleet Town Centre must respond by offering something unique and special to ensure that it continues to succeed even in difficult economic times.

Businesses in service industries too will benefit from a BID through closer trading, promotion of the town and increased footfall.

Business Improvement District in Fleet

Business owners within the proposed BID area have the opportunity to vote yes to invest over £730,000 into your town over the next 5 years. With a BID in place, you can take control of and improve your trading environment by contributing to town centre projects, such as those listed below.

  • Marketing, Promotion and Events
  • Promoting Fleet (and reasons to come to Fleet) to local people and visitors who would not otherwise be aware of what the town has to offer.
  • Bringing more events to the local community and visitors to establish Fleet as a destination.
  • Additional offerings to support seasonal events.
  • Creating a visitor map of Fleet showing the location of the businesses, shops, restaurants, cafes, community centres etc.
  • Improving the experience in Fleet
  • Parking discount schemes.
  • Improving signage and information points.
  • ‘Zoning’ areas of Fleet to make it easier to direct people (‘cultural quarter’ etc).
  • Activities to create focal points and a visual impact in the town.
  • Business Support
  • A united voice for local businesses.
  • Support and advice for for start- ups.
  • Fleet Watch scheme to reduce theft from retailers and improve night time safety.
  • Offers /discounts for staff working in Fleet and businesses in Fleet to increase trade.
  • Obtaining discounts, eg for utilities or trade waste.

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