Blackpool launches a Business Improvement District to boost its tourism sector

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Blackpool is to get its second business improvement district scheme after tourism businesses voted to create their own group to promote the resort.

A new Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) is to be launched from Thursday after a ballot, in which more than 90 per cent of businesses gave the idea the thumbs up.

It means that the private sector-led TBID can play a key role in supporting the resort’s post-COVID recovery plan by generating around £1m of investment over the next five years.

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The council said the business plan that supported the ballot process showed how a collaboration between private and public sector could be used to focus on protecting and developing a vibrant tourism economy.

Tourism businesses in parts of Blackpool have voted to start a Tourism Business Improvement District scheme to promote the areaTourism businesses in parts of Blackpool have voted to start a Tourism Business Improvement District scheme to promote the area
Tourism businesses in parts of Blackpool have voted to start a Tourism Business Improvement District scheme to promote the area

The TBID promises to deliver marketing and events activity to increase footfall, spend, dwell time and overnight stays, and give businesses a greater say in what is happening across the tourism sector.

The TBID area, which includes more than 250 businesses on the seafront as well as those operating around the Stanley Park and Marton Mere areas, becomes the second Business Improvement District to be formed in Blackpool

The existing Town Centre BID is long-established and recently won another five-year mandate to support town centre traders.

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Kate Shane, TBID Project Lead and Head of Blackpool Cluster for the Merlin Entertainments Group, said: “It is brilliant to see our tourism industry recognise the importance of a structured recovery programme and the role that a tourism-focused Business Improvement District can play within that.

Coun Lynne WilliamsCoun Lynne Williams
Coun Lynne Williams

“By working in partnership with leisure, accommodation, retail, food and drink businesses, and statutory authorities we know we can deliver a strong, cohesive, business-led growth strategy for Blackpool.”

Coun Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This is an opportunity to stimulate investment in Blackpool’s tourism economy and help realise its future potential.

“Throughout this pandemic, partnership working within our tourism and hospitality industry has been a key element of recovery planning. The formation of a TBID can now take that on to a

sustainable footing.”

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The TBID will come into effect from July 1. A formal board will be appointed over the coming weeks and businesses will pay a levy towards the costs of running the scheme.

Ian White from hoteliers group StayBlackpool said: "We have been involved from the early days while the TBID was just an idea and in the steering group stage.

"We believe the TBID project will be a significant and vital part of the COVID Recovery period and beyond.

"The TBID brings together the private sector and Blackpool council to offer the strongest possible future path for the towns tourism offer.

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"Though StayBlackpool as a group will hold no voting rights, we believe we can hold a significant and instrumental part in keeping our members interests represented for the good of all."

See also: Blackpool businesses vote to continue BID scheme for town centreBlackpool Gazette: Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, then a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here