In 2012 the old BID scheme in Taunton finished its term and in 2014 when a new Taunton BID failed the Somerset County Gazette reported that “Plans to boost trade in Taunton during the next five years faced a setback this week as businesses reject proposals to invest up to £1.3m to improve prospects for trade in the county town.”
Since no or minor investments have been made over the past 5 years it’s no surprise that investment into empty shops and vacant land has been a struggle. But we don’t need £1.3m, we need talented people with great ideas, marketing talent, local connections, commercial savvy and strong desire to make Taunton town thriving with people.
Our campaign is designed to look for support and seed corn funding to execute an alternative scheme that has the retailer at heart and the concept of making a great place to visit all year-round.
We have a team of professionals lined up who are committed to Taunton’s future, and if we can convince TDBC and the business community to support our scheme, we can execute one of the most cost effective plans that Somerset’s county town has ever seen.
The original BID scheme also had lots of red tape and needed authority by institutions to be carried out, but we believe this type of BID scheme can approached again in the future once we have shown value-for-money to traders in the town centre. Therefore, by taking a membership model we can skip the red tape and get down to doing the essential work of bringing Taunton back to life.
To ensure we deliver high standards on all our objectives we need to raise £120,000 which will employ 3 local professionals and cover operational costs for one year. Once we show the value of what has been achieved we canvas members for an increase in contributions for year 2 and possibly instigate a new BID scheme for year 3. Our members will decide.
Take a look why we need to do this and our finer detailed proposal below or join us to make this project happen for Taunton.
We are a range of business owners and professionals that have been associated with the town centre for over 15 years and still actively trade in the town centre.
The lack of investment via the BID scheme means we need a new approach to its representation of businesses and delivery of projects. This alternative approach provides us with an opportunity to create a new business plan which provides a clear framework of activity across all business sectors. This can take advantage of new opportunities as they emerge from changes in lifestyles, the economy and developments in Taunton town centre itself over the coming years.
We believe this should be led and driven by businesses and focus on their ultimate aims, which is about making money, but we must be able to work collaboratively and constructively with key stakeholders such as the Borough and County Councils and the Police.
We should deliver a mechanism which enables the collective voice of the businesses to be heard and influence, as well as deliver projects on its own and with the support of organisations from the public and private sectors who should be considered as real partners in shaping the future of our town. The principle of our project and any future BID is to deliver projects and results that would not have happened without it.
This new plan is the result of in-depth independent survey with over 86 businesses telling us what is needed and we intend to continue to hear the voice of traders through individual conversations, surveys and workshops.
We believe it will take Taunton to a new level, reflecting business values, being recognised for quality and excellence, locally, regionally and nationally, to the benefit of all businesses across all business sectors.