13 May 2016
For many years there have been suggestions that a strong, single representative body for the BID industry would be preferable and allow all BIDs to work together and speak with ‘one voice’.
In recent months, considerable time has been taken to hear from a wide cross-section of BIDs, stakeholders and associated organisations about what would be the best outcome for the industry moving forwards. The strongest recurring theme has been a renewed desire for a unified body to represent BIDs.
Although this has not been possible in the past, the ATCM and British BIDs have both recognised that, as a new but maturing and small but growing industry, the time is now right to renew efforts to provide this unified voice.
Therefore, over recent weeks, discussions have been taking place and we are now able to announce that the basis of an agreement has been reached that will meet these demands. The result will be for the ATCM to become the single, member-owned, BID representative organisation with products and member services available to the whole industry through the resulting broadened network. This will provide all developing and established BIDs across the entire UK with support and information, together with a more powerful voice at national policy level.
To bring the existing work and the membership of any two organisations together naturally takes some time and there is still a great deal of work to be done over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition. However, of most importance at this stage is that full agreement is now in place and processes have begun. An early sign of this is The Nationwide BID Survey 2016, for the first time in its 10 year history, will be conducted jointly by British BIDs and the ATCM, collaborating on behalf of the whole industry and all stakeholders.
Alexander Nicoll, Chair of ATCM, welcomed this opportunity for greater unity in the representation of the important UK BIDs sector; “I am delighted that after careful consultation the management of British BIDs and the Association of Town & City Management have, jointly, reached the point where this announcement can be made. More remains to be finalised but this is a very significant moment in the development of a unified voice for BIDs going forward.”
The feedback and constructive guidance received from so many within the BID industry as to how to strengthen representation and support for all has been heartening. We will keep in touch and update as frequently as possible as matters progress.