£ Millions coming down the track to Bedford, hears BID

Published on 20 March 2014

£ Millions coming down the track to Bedford, hears BID

The first Bedford Business Improvement District (BID) business breakfast heard how millions of pounds are coming down the track to Love Bedford.

From the prospect of another five years of the BID/Love Bedford annual income stream of £450,000 a year to the massive multi-million Oxford to Bedford railway line, the town centre is going to be pumped up.

“The BID is here to help town centre businesses make the most of the opportunities which are coming this way over the next five years. We need to work together to Love Bedford,” said BID Chairman Rae Levene.

The inaugural event was held in the smart setting of the County Suite of The Park Inn Bedford which has been upgraded as part of a £1.5 Million refurbishment programme. Delegates networked over breakfast and then heard three speakers:

BID Chairman Rae Levene on the benefit to ALL businesses of the BID – including non retail offices.

BID Vice Chair Kerry Cash of 5th Avenue on using social media to boost businesses large and small. She used a video featuring multi-million pound Bedford College, a corporate spa and an independent beauty therapist to demonstrate how they all benefitted from social media marketing.

BID PR consultant Jacquie Manners about how the Love Bedford brand is key to helping people identify with and remain loyal to the town.

Among those exhibition stands was the EastWestRail for which finance has been committed to the Bedford-Oxford-Reading stretch which will boost the annual regional GDP by up to £38 Million per annum. Publicity material links Bedford with Oxford as part of a critical pathway for business and people.

A second BID to BID breakfast will be staged in June 2014 giving businesses within the town centre the opportunity to meet and discuss economic opportunities which benefit all.

Said Christina Rowe: “This first event was aimed very much at offices and non retail/restaurant businesses to give them a chance to hear what the BID does for them – often behind the scenes.

“But our aim is to create a fusion of relationships between ALL the 575-levy paying businesses in the town centre who together have a powerful voice.”

Rae Levene made it clear that the BID is not part of the council. Bedford Borough Council has a representative on the Board, but the BID is run by businesses for businesses.

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