Promote, enhance and support Northern Ireland’s capital city – a strong mission set out by Belfast One, an organisation with the very best interests of Belfast at heart.
Belfast One, is the company behind Belfast’s Business Improvement District (BID), and was formed in April 2016 as a result of a vote by the local business community.
Clare Maguire, Managing Director of Belfast One said: “Today sees the commencement of the first stage of our strategy which will deliver some £5 million of additional funding to Belfast City Centre over the next five years.
“We are working very closely with our levy payers to ensure they get the absolute best return on their money invested.
“We have one overarching goal – to make Belfast the very best it can possibly be, by promoting, enhancing and supporting what is already in place, and what makes it such a great city to work, live and do business in.
“The next few months will see us begin to roll out a new marketing strategy which will showcase the city’s unique offering and help us drive footfall.
“We have also become the majority funder of the PSNI City Centre Beat scheme. Originally a Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce initiative, the City Centre Beat officers have been working to help address the social and safety issues our city centre faces for over 10 years. This new source of funding will allow the initiative to continue and will mean that the officers can be even more focused on the needs of city centre businesses.
“We will also be helping to further support businesses, aiming to save them money by carrying out a trade waste and recycling audit in the city centre. It will be our mission to negotiate a better and more importantly lower priced service with enhanced buying power and more accountability and we are working with experienced consultants to draw up a tender for this at the moment. This will be a fantastic opportunity for businesses to save money; we looked at Bath BID as a model and their scheme has been extremely successful, with average savings of up to 50%. We are also looking at bulk purchasing initiatives for energy, again to save businesses money.
“By working in partnership with Belfast City Centre Management; Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce; Visit Belfast; the Department for Communities; and Belfast City Council, we will make it our mission to improve business life in the city centre which we believe will have a ripple effect on the whole of Northern Ireland.”
Clare concluded: “We look forward to working with our BID board members and each and every one of the businesses that we are working on behalf of, to make Belfast the absolute best it can be.”
In the last decade more than 200 BIDs have been established across the UK and Ireland including Newry and Ballymena.
Belfast One’s Yes vote came into play on 30th October 2015, conducted by a confidential, postal BID Ballot which ran for 42 days in September and October. Organised by the independent Electoral Reform Services (ERS), the BID ballot papers were sent out to eligible voters in the City Centre BID area and 84% of Belfast businesses voted yes to the BID.
Catriona McGirr, Deputy Chair of the Belfast One task group and Manager at Bank of Ireland UK said: “I am absolutely delighted to be here today in support of the first BID campaign.
“I think that this organisation is one of the best things that Belfast has experienced in many years. To have a say in how the city is marketed, maintained and managed is a game-changer and with the support of the business community anything is possible.
“This investment from businesses will undoubtedly improve our area, contribute towards a more successful and profitable future and give Belfast an even greater competitive edge
Catriona concluded: “I encourage any organisation with a desire to make Belfast better, to get involved with Belfast One and help shape the future of our capital city.”
For full details on the Belfast One business plan visit: http://www.belfastone.co.uk/business-plan
Photo caption: Pictured are members of the Belfast One Board kick-starting the five year strategy.