University-backed Business Improvement District (BID) given go ahead by Sheffield businesses

  • Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID) will bring city centre businesses together to make Sheffield a better place to visit, work and live
  • Project will raise £4 million over five years
  • Businesses voted with a 78 per cent majority; 39 per cent of the 500 businesses in Sheffield city centre took part in poll, which is within the national average
  • The University of Sheffield is working closely with local businesses to strengthen the city centre

Businesses in Sheffield have voted to go ahead with a University of Sheffield-backed proposal to develop a Business Improvement District (BID) which will raise £4 million over five years to improve the city centre.

Sheffield BID will be set up and run by local businesses to improve the area for everyone who works, lives and visits the city.

The successful outcome of the vote means that businesses with a ratable value of £40,000 will pay an additional 1 per cent levy on their business rates. This will raise £4 million over five years which will be used to deliver projects across the BID's key themes: busier, easier, safer, cleaner and together.

Sheffield Peace GardensSupporting the Sheffield BID, Professor Sir Keith Burnett CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said:

"The University of Sheffield takes a keen interest in the development of Sheffield and we are delighted to work closely with local businesses of all kinds to strengthen our city centre. The University employs 7,000 staff and has 26,000 students from across the world who want to enjoy and contribute to a vibrant city.

"Working together to improve our city makes it even more attractive to the students and graduates who are so vital to Sheffield's economy, and brings important benefits to the local companies and people who live and work alongside us."

Speaking about the University's support for the new Business Improvement District,  Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Head of Engagement at the University of Sheffield, said: "The University employs 7,000 staff and has 26,000 students from across the world who want to enjoy and contribute to a vibrant city. We are delighted that so many businesses have voted yes to strengthening our city centre together.

"We hope that the improvements made by the BID will help to attract more students and graduates to enjoy Sheffield city centre and bring important benefits to the local companies and people who live and work alongside us."

BID Champion Chair and Managing Director of John Lewis, James Prince commented: "This is a great result for Sheffield city centre. Business organisations will now have the resource to work with Sheffield City Council to deliver events and to implement initiatives detailed within the Sheffield BID prospectus.

"The BID Champion group can now work towards appointing a BID Manager and to setting up a new board. I am delighted that so many businesses have supported this. I believe we have already benefitted from cross sector working, and that has given us a great foundation to really make a difference to how Sheffield city centre is perceived, to make it more attractive to visitors, and to enhance the business environment so everyone benefits."

Sheffield BID will represent over 2,000 businesses in the city centre and the new board will be made up of members from each business sector, from culture, education, transport, police, Sheffield City Council as well residents, and businesses who are not paying the levy and from the hospitality sector.

The new BID company will be set up by 1 August 2015 and will start to operate and implement activity from then. In the intervening period the current BID Champion board will appoint the new BID Manager and put preparatory plans in place.

Find out more about Sheffield BID at www.sheffieldbid.com


Sheffield BID graphic

Additional information:

Businesses voted with a 78 per cent majority and 86 per cent by rateable value. 39 per cent of the 500 businesses in Sheffield city centre took part in poll, which is within the national average.

Find out more on www.sheffieldbid.com

The University of Sheffield

With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

For further information, please visit www.sheffield.ac.uk

Contact

For further information please contact:

Shemina Davis
Media Relations Manager
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 5339
shemina.davis@sheffield.ac.uk