Rescuing the BID - after the vote

Lets examine what needs to happen if the proposal to close the BID company fails.

We need to map out a project to get the BID back on track. We are losing a lot of impetus over these weeks while we wait for procedures to complete. We need to revisit the 5 year plan and decide how we are going to deliver the main aspects of that plan in the remaining 3 years, and we need to find people to take the responsibility to lead each project.

Firstly we need to apply a lot of resource to the signage project. This will be very visible to members with clear results from our investment. Many businesses struggle to take advantage of our visitors because they are located off the beaten track. That is why you asked us to improve signage to highlight themes like e.g. Shopping route, Art Route, Heritage route, dog walking route, and fabulous river views route for instance. Falmouth BID have implemented a prize winning scheme for signage and we should do the same.

The next priority will be to get the Marketing programme on track, in line with what you asked us to do.  It is only by implementing a coordinated multi-channel campaign, and not the piecemeal approach adopted so far, that we can really raise the profile of Dartmouth as a quality destination. In fact the BEST IN THE WEST.

Thirdly our priority must be the creation of non-tourist employment for the hundreds of new residents that will be occupying the West Dart Development recently approved through a successful appeal. Dartmouth as a community must embrace this development and look at ways of making sure the new residents are integrated into the community. The West Dart steering group 4 years ago was really concerned that Dartmouth would become 2 communities, the lower Town and Upper Town, when this development is completed. We can make sure that does not happen by encouraging employment and community resources in the development, and by supporting good transport links between upper and lower parts of the town. Hopefully the Town and District Councils will do everything they can to embrace this opportunity but they must act now to have any impact.

Finally the new BID team must be very active in communicating with members or levy payers about what they are doing and how it will impact members businesses. This has been the biggest problem for the current team, and with their own BID website and social media platforms there is really no reason that can’t get better. The timing of the marketing campaigns is vital information, as owners can use it to drive customers to their own businesses. The social media campaign can have a much bigger impact if local businesses are re-tweeting or re-posting messages. The whole idea is for Dartmouth to go Viral.  The last three news posts on the BID site have only been about the closure of the BID!!

The prerequisite to achieving all of this is of course finding the people who are committed to this project, and willing to give some of their time to making it a success. I suspect this first task will initially fall to a small group because it looks like a tough challenge. I am convinced that those capable people are in Dartmouth and that this group will grow as the project gains speed and support again.


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