Birmingham-based Wragge & Co's real estate group has advised on the successful launch of Birmingham's first Business Improvement District - one of the first wave of BIDs in the UK.
A team led by head of real estate, Adrian Bland, is working with the Broad Street Partnership to establish a BID in Broad Street, Birmingham's central leisure and entertainment district.
Introduced in the UK in 2004, BIDs are a new publicprivate method of funding improvements in a particular area.
The concept involves businesses contributing an additional levy on their business rates, which is used upgrade the local trading and operating environment. A successful BID requires the support of at least 50 per cent of businesses. In Birmingham, an overwhelming 92 per cent voted in favour: the highest level of support given to any UK BID proposal.
The Wragge & Co team included planning associate Jan Hebblethwaite and corporate solicitor Robert Payne.
It has advised on all aspects of the BID proposal, from early stage negotiations to establishing the structure by which the BID will operate. The BID, which formally commences today, will be managed by a private sector-led, not for profit company of 15 directors.
Mr Bland said: "This is a legal landmark for Birmingham. BIDs have been hugely successful in the US and we have long been pushing for the concept to be introduced over here.
"They have a big part to play in the transformation of urban environments. Our national real estate practice is one of the few in the UK to have first hand experience of making the BID concept a reality."