New five-year term for Norwich BID to spend £5m improving city centre is given go-ahead

Norwich BID has had its plans for the next five years approved by businesses.
Sarah Steed, Paul McC

Norwich BID has had its plans for the next five years approved by businesses. Sarah Steed, Paul McCarthy, Peter Mitchell. Andrew Dernie and Stefan Gurney. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Norwich Business Improvement District (BID)'s remit has been renewed for a five-year term – with a wider scope – after city centre companies voted in favour of its vision.

Norwich BID City Hosts have had training to become Dementia Friends.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich BID City Hosts have had training to become Dementia Friends. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The organisation had put forward a £5m blueprint for consultation which 88.4% of businesses agreed to.

The BID aims to increase footfall and boost the economy of Norwich and has overseen projects including city centre wifi, the Christmas tunnel of light and castle projections, the City of Ale and the Food and Drink Festival.

BID executive director Stefan Gurney has said a focus for the coming term would be to make city gateways Prince of Wales Road and St Stephen's Street more inviting and to make the River Wensum a focal point.

The BID will also aim to continue the VisitNorwich app and City Hosts scheme – which sees volunteers give information to visitors to the city.

The former and new Norwich BID areas. Graphic: Rob McVicar.

The former and new Norwich BID areas. Graphic: Rob McVicar. - Credit: Archant

Mr Gurney said: 'This is a fantastic result and we would like to thank all the businesses that have supported and voted yes.

'During the past five years, the BID team have delivered a wide and varied range of projects for the benefit of all in Norwich.

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'I now look forward to working with the BID team to deliver our five-year business plan for the city.'

The BID will now set about raising £5m, through an annual 1% levy on the rateable value of business premises over £30,000 within its area, to carry out its vision to go 'bigger, bolder and better'.

It will also roll out current schemes across its new wider area.

Peter Mitchell, chairman of the Norwich BID and group managing director at Jarrolds, said: 'My thanks also to all those business leaders who have given their time, enthusiasm and expertise to the BID. We now have the business backing, the funding and the team we need to deliver Norwich BID's programme over the next five years for the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors.

'At a time when investment in towns and cities is getting squeezed all across the UK, this is fantastic news for our amazing city.'

The second term will begin in November.