Ballymena Town Centre launches BID

Ballymena Town Traders came together in Ballymena Business Centre, Church Street on 22nd October to launch Ballymena Business Improvement District. People representing a range of interests in Ballymena have been working over a number of years now to develop the Town as a Business Improvement District.  

With support from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivered by the North East Partnership and with support from Ballymena Borough Council, local businesses have been working with statutory agencies and linking with other towns to prepare the ground for Business Improvement District.

The launch of the BID signals the important process of engaging local businesses in making decisions about the issues that impact upon the Town.

It was no surprise then that the launch was well attended by business interests in the town as well as local councillors and council officials.

At the launch The Mayor of Ballymena, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE said, “Council is delighted to have supported and progressed the Ballymena BID process. This is a significant opportunity for Ballymena to build on and bring added value to public sector investment in the town. BIDs are driven by business for business and have demonstrated success by increasing footfall and spend, reducing costs to businesses, attracting new investment and improving competitiveness with other locations.” 

Terry Robb from Ulster Bank, is the Chairman of Ballymena Town Centre Development. Terry said, “Developing the BID in Ballymena will bring great benefit to the Town and will give local businesses and companies a greater say in the development and regeneration of the Town.” 

President of Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry Alan Stewart commented “Our Management Committee and I are fully behind the Ballymena BID. We look forward to working with the BID team to assist them deliver what is in essence a new and exciting chapter for our town and it’s businesses. We appeal to businesses within the new BID area to grasp this opportunity”. Anne Donaghy, CEO of the new super council that will cover the Mid and East Antrim area said, “I truly believe that businesses in Ballymena will want to plan their own destiny together through decisive actions. A BID is business led and quite correctly so. If a BID is successful Council will wish to build on that success and I will commit to assist in whatever way possible.” 

Mo Aswat Director of the Mosaic Partnership and with experience of delivering over 60 successful BIDs in the UK emphasised the benefits of BIDs and the return on investment opportunities created by BID development. Mo explained that “For every £1 that Businesses invest in the BID they receive on average around £3 in return.” 

Two local businesses also made an input at the launch. Richard Montgomery of Montgomery’s and Thomas McKillen of McKillens of Ballymena spoke positively about the opportunities a BID could bring. Richard said “The BID will put local traders in control and at the heart of decision making. A BID will help to enhance the Ballymena experience, making the town safer, cleaner, and a more attractive place to live, work and socialise. We have heard about the success of BIDs in other towns and are keen to see Ballymena join in with a group of forward thinking businesses.” Thomas McKillen explained that initially he had been unsure about developing the BID, but that now he had changed his mind and was convinced of the benefits a BID could bring. Thomas said “Ballymena is a vibrant town full of talented people and great national and independent businesses. I believe through the BID we can harness this potential and provide a much needed boost to the economy of Ballymena. Not just to increase visitors and spend in the town but also to attract new businesses.” 

So what happens now? Well the next steps for the Ballymena BID include a series of Business Meetings for local business to come and find out more and make suggestions as to how a BID could move forward.

The BID Project Manager, Peter Day said “The Business Meetings encourage further discussion and ultimately select the projects to take forward as part of the proposed BID Business Plan for Ballymena. It is important that businesses attend one of these meetings. It is an opportunity to have a say on the projects to be part of the BID.” 

Specific sessions have been organised for the different business sectors in Ballymena. Open sessions for any businesses to attend are also scheduled. 

To register for one of the meetings please contact Peter Day on 07712 839 767 or email peter@ballymenabid.com

Tuesday 28th October 2014 

  • 10am National Retailers and Banks
  • 12pm Office and Commercial, Public Sector
  • 6pm Independent Retailers and open session

Wednesday 29th October 2014 

  • 12pm Open session
  • 3.30pm Pubs, Restaurants, Cafes, Entertainment and Leisure

All meetings will be held in Ballymena Business Centre 51-53 Church Street.

Remember more information is available at www.ballymenabid.com

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Contact Us

Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 4 Wellington Court, Ballymena, BT43 6EQ

Email: office@ballymenachamber.co.uk

Tel: 07801 738 359

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