BID Managers Board Update 12th April 2020

Apr 12, 2020

The BID Manager is in touch with the Board more by email due to the COVID19 Lockdown and we thought you might be interested in Helen’s update, as follows…

Hi all

Two weeks has passed so I thought I’d send a further update. I have spoken to a couple of you and hope everyone else is well and adapting to ‘new normal’.

The board meeting is due on 21st April. At this stage I have nothing I need a decision on so I propose to send a full update on the financials and also report on the take-up of projects to date and current ROI on projects where this can be specifically identified.

By way of other updates:

Ilkley To You

Hot food bags delivered to more levy payers with a further 5 available. These have had laminated inserts with the ITY logo and Powered By Ilkley BID added.

The billboard on the A65 is now up – see image attached.

Ilkley To You Billboard advert

The Stray FM ads are live, 100 slots per week. I opted for two – one consumer facing and one inviting businesses to submit listings.  Mp3 files of the ads attached.

Many other BIDs are listing who is offering take-away etc but none to my knowledge have a dedicated website. After one of the inclusions on Stray news we had 2000 visits to the site on one day.

From zero, the Facebook page has 315 followers and has had a reach of 2847 people this week –‘ like’ us if you haven’t already (or get your kids to, or anybody else really) –
Or if you prefer Instagram, we’re here – I’m not into it so not sure where to look for the stats (and it’s Easter Sunday evening so I’m not asking anyone else right now) but I can see we have 129 followers on there.


I’ve submitted final feedback for the branding survey and expect to start sharing this within a few days, Louise and Ian have been copied in. The BID board should all participate if possible in the online workshops so I hope you can find time to do that. There were some very relevant concerns about getting enough engagement to continue with this right now but I think we should be OK. The reason I was keen to proceed is that there are numerous future projects we could look at which all would need the Ilkley brand logo so I would hate to be held up by not having this for another few months. Timings will be confirmed, there will be a daytime option and one early evening. Watch this space…..

Social Media

Amanda Danells-Bewley is not currently delivering the social media for BID for these reasons:
1. Things are moving so quickly, for me to get info to her and her to share it was too slow.
2. The generic posts that usually go out don’t ‘feel’ right at the moment.
3. She is heavily involved with the Ilkley Coronavirus Response Group (did you see the piece on BBC about sewing the scrubs? Great stuff 😊 Here is the link if you missed it –
Facebook –
Twitter –

CBMDC Bronze Partner Meetings

As previously advised, on Tuesday afternoon each week, I am party to the council Bronze Partner Meeting which is focused on business support. There is also a separate sub-group who look at support for residents, from the perspective of lack of jobs and therefore income, and the two groups come together to share updates fortnightly on Fridays.

The Business Sub-Group I am involved with includes the other district BIDs (Bradford and Keighley), WNY Chamber and various relevant parties from the council including Clare Wilkinson, Head of Economic Development, representatives from the Business Rates Team and other relevant council employees.
Much of the discussion has been around grant payments.

The council have now made nearly 4000 payments of £10k to those with RV up to £15k. They are hoping to start paying out some of the £25k grants this week but central government have asked for certain checks to be made before these payments are made which might slow things down a little. I have received some good feedback about how quickly the initial payments have gone out and have passed this on. If any of you want any more info on this, give me a call or send an email separately to this and I will address any specific queries.

Levy Payer Liaison

As you would imagine, I am receiving and replying to lots of emails and calls at the moment. Too many to go into but there is an appreciation from those I am speaking to that the businesses have someone to ask which is good.

Levy Payer Survey

Just before lockdown, the 3 district BIDs commissioned a survey through Storecheckers. I have attached here the summary document for Ilkley. As I was quick off the mark with this, it went out on the Friday before lockdown was announced. The results would probably have been different had it gone out a few days later. I have the raw data and have anonymised this and shared with the other BIDs and the council. As a group, the district BIDs are deciding on whether to issue a joint survey within our areas or whether to use a national survey being prepared by one of the industry bodies – we will decide once we can see what they propose to ask.

Lockdown Checklist

Pinched and improved – attached. Any key points missing, let me know. Shared on socials and emailed to those I have had personal ‘conversations’ with.

Future of BIDs

So far in Ilkley, only one business has suggested we shouldn’t try to collect the next levy. I have shared with them the fact that this isn’t a decision that can be made locally, it would be like Bradford council deciding businesses don’t have to pay rates.
The recommendation from the Northern BIDs group (we’re too small to be included so hearing this from Bradford) is that now is not the time to be apologetic about the levy – the need for a BID is likely to be greater than ever.

District BIDs Meeting

Jonny (Bradford), Paul (Keighley) and I have a recurring meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoons to cover items falling out of the Bronze Partner Meeting each week and to share ideas and best practice.

I am a member of Basecamp which is an information channel created by the ATCM (Association of Town & City Management) so see a lot of the wider issues affecting BIDs across the country.
We are all subscribed to a Slack group which includes BIDs from West & North Yorkshire and a couple from Lancashire. I’m not an active participant (one too many notifications when you are on info over-load) but it is useful to see what the others are thinking / doing.

Collaboration with Virtual College

I have had initial discussions with Rod Knox, CEO and Diane, a colleague from Virtual College, about a national portal for BIDs to be able to provide online learning for member businesses. The initial thinking was for them to look for large scale funding towards this though since our initial meeting, we might try to roll something out locally as a trial. Online learning IS permitted during furlough and so development of staff and development of business leadership will potentially help put businesses on the front foot when we come back.

I hope all that makes sense and reassures you about my current activities. Please do give me a call if you have any queries. A quick ‘received’ email in response would be appreciated as I have no idea who is picking up right now….

Sorry that’s long but I’m still really busy as lots going on – which is good, yes?


Looking forward to making you all coffee….(or tea, or juice Alex) 😊


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