The board of Belfast One is celebrating a hat trick of successes with the Business Improvement District’s (BID) third year results showing phenomenal achievements, since Belfast One came into existence in April 2016.
Speaking at the AGM in Belfast’s City Hall, Belfast One Chair, Liz Kerr, said: “Over the last three years the team at Belfast One have worked diligently to deliver projects which have consistently made a difference to the City Centre. Belfast One is working to deliver a five year plan which is being brought to life by various events and initiatives aimed at our business members and the general public.
“Our members have reported tangible benefits to their businesses whether they be in retail or professional services, hospitality or tourism, and we are committed to striving to continue to make a positive difference over the next two years. Belfast is a premier destination for shopping, tourist attractions, for restaurants and hotels and for doing business in.”
To date, Belfast One has launched several key projects for businesses, including; a trade waste initiative with ISL Waste Management, a merchant services initiative with Bank of Ireland Payment Acceptance (BOIPA) and, already, participating businesses have saved over £100,000. An additional cleansing team with McQuillan Companies has removed 7 tonnes of additional waste from the area in the BIDs third year and, since 2016, two extra PSNI officers have been funded who are dedicated to businesses as part of the City Centre Beat initiative.
Belfast One has also become synonymous with a creative events schedule which included, welcoming 4,000 film-goers who descended on City Hall for their Summer Cinema in July 2018, Belfast Restaurant Week in February 2019 generating £151,000 for local restaurants and the free Santa’s Belfast Post Office for children to post their letter to Santa in 2018.
A number of initiatives, events and activities are planned for the next two years as Belfast One continues to focus on the key themes of promote, enhance and support, with its mission to ‘transform Belfast city centre into a clean, safe, bustling, 24 hour culture full of people loving it’. These include: The Great Belfast Busk Off in July, mini golf and live music celebrating The 148th Open Championship, a fashion show and summer cinema at City Hall in August, Belfast Restaurant Week in September, Hallowe’en and Christmas festivities. Businesses will be able to avail of training workshops addressing social media, customer service, financial management and networking. Ambassadors will be on the streets throughout the summer to welcome visitors to the city and a new Gift Card will be launched later this year.
Liz added: “We will continue to work with Belfast City Council, Visit Belfast and our colleagues at CQ and Linen Quarter BIDs to build on the successes of the past three years and to achieve continued success for Belfast city centre into 2020.”
To find out more about membership, how local businesses can get involved with Belfast One, or to seek further information about upcoming events, visit: www.belfastone.co.uk.