A range of activities and initiatives supporting the city centre economy is outlined in Salisbury BID’s annual review.
The business-led Business Improvement District (BID)claims it is adding more vibrancy to Salisbury’s city centre economy and it tracked nearly 11 million visitors last year.
That is one of the key facts in BID’s latest review. Chief Executive Robin McGowan said: “The 2017 Salisbury Christmas Market was the biggest we’ve staged so far and had the longest duration of 30 days.”
The market, and 15 other community events during 2017, was tied to promotional activities which attracted additional footfall and spend into the city. The not-for-profit BID invested more than £100,000 into the events, it claimed.
Events included Salisbury Live, City Encounters Weekend opening Salisbury International Arts Festival, and Salisbury Taste Trail. Salisbury BID works in partnership with VisitWiltshire on marketing campaigns through Visit Salisbury and featured advertising and travel trade shows.
‘Free after 3pm’ weekday parking at Culver Street car park, £25,000 invested in Salisbury’s CCTV, City Rangers, and a new community safety officer, were other Salisbury BID initiatives during the year.
Mr McGowan also noted BID’s success as lead partner in retaining Salisbury’s Purple Flag status, reflecting the quality and safety of the city’s evening and night-time economy.
For 2018, two new schemes for members are to be launched. A cost procurement partnership will use members’ collective buying power to help cut business costs.
BID has invested in the Salisbury Gift Card –launched in Summer. The pre-loaded gift card should help encourage more people to use the city centre to spend money.
Mr McGowan added: “Our role is to promote a cleaner, greener, safer and more vibrant Salisbury. We are achieving that through year-round, joined-up marketing and business support.”
Salisbury BID is funded by more than 500 city centre businesses who pay an annual levy. Springboard research commissioned by Salisbury BID in January 2018 found that vacancy rates for ground floor retail units in Salisbury had fallen to just 6.2%, compared to the national average of 8.9%.