BID Managers Board Update 29th March 2020

Mar 29, 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…

Here’s a round up of the week from your BID team.

Ilkley To You

Jos has pulled together the website – which I’m really pleased with and we have set up social channels on FB and Instagram. Only Jos knows how to update the site and this isn’t the time for her to spend time showing us how to do it so getting content on there takes some time. We are currently putting any relevant business on the site who wants to be included, AFTER we have put levy payers on. Relevant levy payers have had emails asking them to submit their details. We are primarily promoting levy payers on the socials and the non-payers have had an email which mentions that this is free ‘for now’ as if we get traction on this, it is something we can look to charge for later.

I did an interview on Stray on Wednesday (I think – days already blurring) and we saw 700 visits to the site that day which is good for something so new.

I have taken a 6M X 3M billboard ad on the A65 (opposite Ashlands) and also one month’s advertising on Stray FM.

I bought some insulated bags which have so far gone out to some of the BID member restaurants (one of whom sent a lovely email saying how much she appreciated me running around after them all).

I sent a press release to The Gazette, Ilkley Chat, Stray FM, Bradford Means Business and the business desk at the Yorkshire Post (slightly optimistic there but you never know).

We have had some really positive responses to the campaign, including from levy payers who won’t benefit directly, one of which said it was ‘ruddy marvellous’.

I have been in contact regularly with Mark from Pronto so this is being offered as an option for those not online but without me specifically pushing it.

This campaign is something we can adapt in the future so will not just be used during this phase of life. Right now, it is difficult to keep up to date as businesses are closing or changing their offer regularly but I think between the 3 of us, we are on top of it.

Street Cleaning

This was postponed as the majority felt this was the best course of action.

Easter Trail

Postponed though I did try to buy 50 eggs so we can do it later but the best before dates were not long enough – will come back to that in due course.


I am picking this up with Ed this week and we will look to schedule the survey and online workshops and get this process started – watch this space.

Xmas 2020

Amongst the madness, I had an hour long video call with Sarah Thomas and a colleague from the Manor House primarily about Christmas 2020 but we also discussed some art and floral projects. More to follow later.


Meercat are scaling back their operations and have proposed a fixed fee of £500 for the quarter April to June to enable them to provide a ‘passive’ procurement service. Their initial findings are that people are actually keener and more able to engage so I have agreed for the work to continue on this basis.

Business Survey

After speaking with Clare Wilkinson, head of the Economic Development team at CBMDC on 19th March (blimey, that seems a long time ago :/ )and also with Jonny from Bradford BID, I commissioned Storecheckers to produce a survey to check the initial impact of Covid-19 on our levy payers. Bradford and Keighley I believe have done the same survey so that will give both a local and a district wide view. I am expecting to receive the data from the survey on Monday or Tuesday latest. The picture has changed a lot since 19th and I intend to send something else out with similar questions shortly.

CBMDC Bronze Partner meetings

Along with the BID Managers from Bradford & Keighley, I took part in a conference call with the council Bronze partners which included council staff from the business rates team, Clare Wilkinson, someone from the DWP and a chap from the Chamber. Others too but it was fairly tricky on this first occasion to keep on top of who was who. This will be a weekly call.

We discussed the process for businesses to get the grants and how the BID could assist with getting the info to the council to enable timely pay-outs. Also for us to feed in info on the businesses who are falling through the gaps and don’t seem to be eligible for national support, monitoring of potential business permanent closures and providing assistance where possible and appropriate. It has been noted that those businesses who pay an amount to include rent and rates inclusive to their landlord might not be eligible and assistance for them is under discussion.

We discussed enabling / encouraging businesses to shift to new ways of working which might help them through this and what help they need in this respect.
There were comments that the government is likely to take action as the banks are not being as ‘helpful’ as was hoped and are currently being fairly tight on the lending criteria.

Info from the Cabinet Office

I receive daily updates from the Cabinet Office with traceable links which are shared on social media. The latest post is being pinned to the top of the FB page.

Ilkley Coronavirus Response Team

Stuart is heavily involved with this which is primarily the resident facing support effort. I am copied in on updates and will be assisting the team with anything where business input or collaboration is needed.

BID short term forward planning:

Keeping Ilkley To You up to date & promoting heavily on socials (Nicola & Jos)
Branding work as above
Maintaining contact with levy payers
Sharing relevant info from government
Ongoing contact with the council and other bodies as appropriate and feeding in info from Ilkley
Relaunch Ilkley’s Got Heart and look at other opportunities for online learning / upskilling
Catch up with backlog, e.g. paperwork for Ilkley Watch, updates to CRM system etc. etc.
Get some future projects ready to roll out.

If I can help you with anything, if you have any queries about the above or think I’m missing anything important, you know where I am (ON THE SOFA!!)

Bye for now & keep up the hand-washing.


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