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Community ideas

BID – working as a team #Wednesbury

I was talking to a Chinese student a few years ago about her latest assignment. She had to do the assignment as part of a group. I commented that I was usually better working alone. In a group, you have to come to an agreement with other group members before you can do anything. Alone, you just get on with it. The student told me that Chinese people prefer to work in a group. I think a group can be more successful than an individual if they have a common goal and essentially, leadership. A suggestion has been made that a BID – Business Improvement District be set up for Wednesbury town centre. Can Wednesbury businesses work together?

Wednesbury - A business development district

Wednesbury

Wednesbury could do with a bit of collective action. When the takeaway food outlets are all shuttered up it looks like it’s closed and when they’re open in the evening, the shops are closed. Wednesbury looks like a ghost town! There are plans to improve Wednesbury and we might even get a new light rail system around the town. In the meantime, traders could do something to attract visitors. Shop window displays for Christmas would be nice. Maybe a few fairy lights?

Business improvement district (BID)

Many businesses around the town recently received a leaflet about setting up a BID for Wednesbury. West Bromwich has two and Birmingham has nine. It would cost the businesses money but only the cost of a decent advert in the newspaper. There is a five point plan:

Fund and develop events

We have an event at the end of the month in the market place when the Christmas lights will be switched on. Will this bring people into Wednesbury? It is only one event a year and a winter event. We could have events all year around at Bank Holidays. Could we have a May day event with a May queen?

Fund and develop a marketing programme

It costs the same to place an advert to advertise the whole town centre as just one business. A shared advertising and marketing budget would be a great idea. Wednesbury could even have its own website! I could help with a few pictures. You can put out powerful messages with pictures and I could also help with a social media presence.

Improve the look of the town

The town doesn’t look great does it and collective action could improve the way it looks. Make it look cleaner and perhaps ask landlords to invest in their properties?

Improve signage

This is a great idea. We need signs out of the car park to the access points to different streets and signs to transport links.

Seed funding

The initiative could also fund bids for funding from government agencies and look at other funding like the National Lottery. Even big business might fund some projects. We would have to take some things a little more seriously like protecting our heritage, library and valuing art and culture more. The Arts Council do fund art projects, but little comes to Wednesbury. Could we have a summer exhibition for Wednesbury artists and photographers? I would enter a few pictures. I framed a couple of pictures yesterday. I might go upmarket from Poundland frames if it was for our art gallery.

So Wednesbury businesses and Wednesbury people what do you think of this BID idea? Comment below or on my Facebook page.  If you would like to subscribe to this blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for updates.

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