What is a BID?
It stands for Business Improvement District and is an initiative within a geographical area where businesses pool resources to make their business better. BIDs have a statutory basis, mainly Part 9 of the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006.

W
hat is the area of Byres Road & Lanes BID?
It is the area from the top of Byres Road down to the corner of Chancellor Street, and taking in Ruthven Lane & Mews Arcade, Cresswell Lane & De Courcy’s Arcade, and the Byres Road ends of Vinicombe, Cresswell & Great George Streets.

Why not all of Byres Road?
Before the Byres Road & Lanes BID was created, a study was carried out, which concluded that the shops closest to Partick Cross had closer ties to the Partick shopping area.

How did the Byres Road & Lanes BID get started?
The BID came about as a result of efforts by Friends of Glasgow West and others to improve Byres Road. They created a group called BRIG (Byres Road Improvement Group) which included Glasgow University, Glasgow City Council, the West End Festival, and local businesses. The local businesses created a BID Steering Group, which worked on the BID proposal and business plan for a year. In terms of the legislation, Glasgow City Council were obliged to hold a ballot of the business owners within the proposed BID area. The ballot closed on 26th February 2015. The creation of the BID was approved by a convincing majority, and the BID came into being in May 2015 with the incorporation of a company limited by guarantee - Byres Road & Lanes BID Co. Ltd.

Why is a BID needed on Byres Road?
There are number of reasons. People who have lived in the West End of Glasgow will often say that Byres Road ‘isn’t what it used to be.’ Byres Road and its periphery used to be one of the finest shopping streets in Glasgow, but is widely considered to have lost this status. Very high rent and rates have driven smaller, independent, business, to other areas, such as Kelvinbridge and Finnieston, depriving Byres Road of its interest, diversity, and appeal, particularly among a younger demographic. Other factors, such as poor parking provision and unattractive public spaces, have contributed to this decline.

Are BIDs a good idea?
They certainly are. The first BID was in Canada in 1970. Now there are around 400 BIDs in Canada, 1000 in the USA, and more than 180 in the UK, including more than 30 in Scotland. The growth of BIDs worldwide is proof of their effectiveness.

What can a BID do to improve business within the BID area?
There are a large and varied number of projects undertaken by BIDs. Broadly these fall in to two categories: improving the volume of business, and reducing costs. A BID will: promote the BID area, and the businesses in it, by marketing and events; enhance the BID area by making it a more attractive environment for shopping; tackle specific issues that detract from the attractiveness of the area; and reduce costs, for example by reviewing non-domestic rates, and engaging consultants to negotiate lower utilities costs.

What is Byres Road & Lanes BID doing?
Just entering its second year, Byres Road & Lanes BID has created a new, vibrant brand: Visit West End. We have developed an excellent website – visitwestend.com – and we carry out extensive social media marketing. We held a promotion day on Small Business Saturday in December 2015, a spring celebration in April 2016 and a two-day Fashion Show in May 2016. We have invested in infrastructure to ensure that the newly improved Vinicombe Street will be suitable for outdoor events, and installed Christmas lights on the trees in Ashton Road Car Park. We are engaging consultants to lodge a group rates review appeal. This is a summary of what we are up to.

Where does the BID get its funding?
The business owners in the BID area are charged a levy, based on their rateable value. The BID also received financial support from Glasgow City Council, and Glasgow University.

Who runs the BID?
The BID is run by a Board of Directors, and has two staff members: project manager Deborah Murray, and marketing and events co-ordinator Elisabeth Norberg.

How do I contact the BID?
You can email us on info@visitwestend.com, call in to the office on 61 Byres Road or phone us on 0141 237 1134.