Published on: May 31, 2021
Our team have recently carried out extensive consultation with businesses in Lerwick's town centre in preparation for producing the business plan for the Business Improvement District over the next five years.
Realta Events Management have led on the implementation of the Living Lerwick business plan since January 2018.
This manages the Business Improvement District (BID) in Lerwick town centre, which includes 144 individual businesses as a community. The key tasks of this are to support those businesses, improve footfall to the area through additional marketing and event provision and to enhance the attractiveness of the area for those who live, work and visit the town centre. This work has been especially important since the beginning of the Covid pandemic in early 2020.
The current four year term of the BID comes to an end in August 2021 and at this point, all member businesses have the democratic right to vote to continue, or not, with a BID in the area. To allow businesses to make an informed choice on this and have input into the potential activities and priorities for the next BID term to deliver, extensive consultation was carried out with member businesses in early 2021.
Feedback was consolidated before a 'Next Steps' document was produced and circulated for additional feedback on what the consultation had identified as core objectives. Following this, a five year business plan was produced, which will form the basis of the activities of the BID over the next five years, provided there is a successful ballot outcome in August.
Much of the consultation work had to be done amidst additional restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Where face to face group meetings would have normally been held, this was restricted to digital platforms and individual telephone calls or socially distanced visits. While this created additional challenges, the final response rate was still encouraging and the business plan was approved by Living Lerwick Directors and submitted to Shetland Islands Council and the Scottish Government as part of the proposal to establish a new five-year BID term from September 2021.
A copy of the plan can be downloaded on the Living Lerwick website HERE.