business

Jewellery Quarter BID pledges free public wi-fi

Business improvement district sets out its stall as voting opens on second term

The Jewellery Quarter BID team (from left): chairman Nicola Ridler, director Luke Crane and board director Henrik Skouby

Free public wi-fi and new recycling facilities are set to come to the Jewellery Quarter if the area's business improvement district receives a 'yes' vote on a second term.

Voting has begun on whether the Jewellery Quarter BID team will receive another five-year tenure and the team has outlined its plans if successful.

It is promising improvements to the public realm, expanding the dedicated cleaning team, boosting recycling facilities for businesses and free public wi-fi if given the 'yes' vote by companies in the historic quarter.

A business improvement district (BID) is a precisely defined geographic area in which companies pay an extra levy on their rates to fund additional services such as events and initiatives.

Business in the Jewellery Quarter have until July 5 to register their vote which the BID team says will bring an additional £2.9 million investment into the area if granted another term.

Among the projects which have been delivered over the past five years are the annual Jewellery Quarter Festival, public realm improvements in St Paul's Square and Caroline Street and participating in key city initiatives including The Big Hoot and Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival.

BID director Luke Crane said: "Working with Birmingham City Council and other partners, the BID has been integral to supporting and facilitating a large number of projects that have supported our aim to regenerate the Jewellery Quarter, attract more footfall, support existing businesses and attract new investment.

"Our second term is even more important and our proposals for the next five years incorporate the feedback received during our consultation process over the last six months.

"We have some exciting, bold ideas for the Jewellery Quarter and we want to expand on the projects that are so important for nurturing business growth in our community."

If granted a second term, the BID area will be expanded to around 700 eligible BID levy-payers with companies on both sides of Great Hampton Street and the south-eastern side of Constitution Hill coming under the BID area.

BID chairman Nicola Ridler added: "The BID not only delivers additional services to local businesses but is the single voice representing the Jewellery Quarter, particularly allowing us to engage directly with partners such as the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP."

The Jewellery Quarter BID is one of 11 BIDs in Birmingham and was established in 2012.

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