- 04 May, 2020
Full Statement sent to BBC Look North for broadcast 04/05/2020
Following on from the BBC News ‘Look North’ visit to Skegness today (Monday 4th May 2020) and with regards to Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID levy payments, we wanted to share the statement submitted to the press in its entirety. We hope that by sharing this information with you, will provide clarity and transparency to the BIDs success and achievements together with our efforts in supporting our people in this difficult time
We appreciate that COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on all businesses within our BID area and nationally. We also understand that some businesses are in the position where they are reviewing every expense they currently have due to these difficult times. To the majority however, Lincolnshire Coastal Destination Bid is a significant and positive channel to pool our resources and to focus on our key objectives. We are determined to support our levy payers through the means of the destination BID as much as we are able to and believe that once through these difficult times, all those whom have been affected will return stronger than ever.
We should be mindful that the average business paying approximately £370 per annum is creating a pool of approximately half a million pounds per annum which is then reinvested into the coastal strip and the benefits of this is clearly realised through the work that has previously been completed since the BID was established in 2017 and will do so going forward.
We must take a united front and understand that only by working together positively and with community spirit, we will then be in a strong position to promote the area and ultimately recover the footfall lost when businesses reopen.
We are passionate advocates of our four values which are; Marketing and Promotion, Environmental Enhancements and Access Schemes, Events, Business Support and Networking.
To answer your questions put to the BID from BBC Look North:
- Lincolnshire Coastal BID had a number of events planned for the 2020 season. Some of which were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions and some we are hoping to reschedule later on in the season, although we will constantly monitor government advice and guidance. Preparations are currently being made for events, marketing & promotions and other projects for 2021
- As well as the many successful events that have been organised, we undertake various advertising and communication campaigns, helpful links and information to support our people through COVID-19, all via our website Visitlincscoast.co.uk, numerous social media streams, our destination guide, advertisements through contracts with bus/coach companies and HGV suppliers travelling nationwide. A radio campaign, promotional video, a banner along the seafront and in bus shelters, all to promote our beautiful coast and the services and activities within. Recently, we have partnered with other BIDs and organised support webinars to aid those in this difficult time. We are and will continue to work on and to support as much as possible where we can.
- We also have a team of Rangers who assist in keeping the BID catchment safe and clean as well as having a strong customer focus and working alongside our emergency services/CCTV organisations as well as our Business Watch scheme. We are also currently supporting a major new project to improve skills for business owners and their staff members.
- We have been able to negotiate a deferment of levy payments until September however to clarify, we as a Board are not legally empowered to NOT collect the said payments. Under Government regulations a BID is required to operate within, it cannot raise or adjust the levy invoices themselves nor the levy rules, as described in the original BID Business Plan which must be strictly adhered to. However, should the Government relax the regulations due to the current COVID-19 situation then as we have previous stated, we will review the process in line with Governments legislation and recommendations. We are advocates of the ‘Raise the Bar’ campaign and are strongly in support and lobbying government to waiver the levy this financial year.
- For clarity, Lincs Coastal BID LTD has not recruited an additional two member of staff. The recruitment process for the replacement of two staff members allowed us to appoint prior to the lock down and following the amicable resignation of their predecessors. Additionally, two staff members known as ‘Rangers’ are currently under the Furlough scheme to be reviewed in the coming weeks.
- In addition, you will be aware that the government on Friday announced £6.1 million funding boost to help high streets and town centres through the pandemic. This funding is of course welcomed, but the scale per BID, flexibility of use and timing is still unclear. There are in excess of 200 BIDs in the UK, therefore this will help, but in reality the scale is unlikely to allow for significant change, rather to help with the short term sustainability, similar to the Visit Britain COVID-19 Support Grant we were recently successful in receiving.
Thanks and kind regards,
Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID Chairman of the Board
Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID Manager