Welcome to the Otley BID March 2017 Update, which keeps you up to date with business information and BID projects that are currently underway.
2017/18 Otley BID Levy Bills Are Out
The 2017/18 levy bills have now been delivered to all our businesses. If you are a new business in town and have not yet been contacted by us please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a face to face visit. He can explain what a Business Improvement District (BID) is, how it operates in Otley, give you access to the many ‘deals’ we have organised than can save you money and show you how to use the Otley BID Business Directory.
Please note that as a BID member you automatically qualify for free membership of Otley Chamber of Trade which will save you £52 a year. All you have to do is fill out an application form which can be found on the Chamber website.
Otley BID Priority Projects 2017
It was agreed at the March Board Meeting that the following projects be earmarked as priorities to be undertaken throughout 2017 by the BID team:
- Strengthen Otley’s appeal to attract new businesses
- Develop the potential of opportunities for the Otley Town Team Volunteers
- Ensure events are undertaken in the best way to help local businesses
- Ensure Westgate Developments supports the town
- Continue to find money saving offers for BID businesses
- Explore support for a second 5 year term of Otley BID
As projects progress we will keep you updated via this Bulletin, our website’s blog and our social media (Facebook and Twitter).
Otley in Bloom Selected to Represent Yorkshire in Britain in Bloom
The BID is very supportive of Otley in Bloom’s aspirations of winning the national Britain in Bloom competition. Otley in Bloom is representing Yorkshire in the town section. The Bid is doing all it can to help OiB achieve success by once again offering funding to increase the floral displays around town and hopes everyone else will do all they can to ensure Otley looks its absolute best this summer.
Free Business Advice Pop-Up Café
The beginning of March saw the first Free Business Advice Pop-Up Café run the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
We had 22 businesses attend, holding 70 conversations with 10 different business experts – there was certainly a buzz in the Otley Courthouse throughout the whole morning. Feedback from the business owners who attended said that they found the event really useful and were impressed with the practical and quality advice that was available. Of the evaluation forms completed 71% rated it as ‘excellent’ and 29% as ‘good’.
Here’s a list of the business advice experts that were available on the day:
- Accountancy and tax – Walker Broadbent Associates
- Funding – Airedale Enterprise Services
- Business Planning – Airedale Enterprise Services
- Social Media – The Yorkshire Marketing Company
- Digital – Digital Enterprise
- Websites – Ideas
- Skills – LEP Skills Service
- Starting Up – West Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
- International E-commerce – Department for International Trade
- Growing your Business – LEP Growth Service
Photo credit: Leeds Enterprise Partnership
Wharfebank Business Centre
We have recently held a series of meetings with Wharfebank Business Centre and Leeds Mill to help us develop the economy with offices outside of Otley town centre. Discussions are ongoing and we will keep you updated with progress.
Photo credit: Wharfebank Business Centre
The work has now been completed on the Memorials Gardens and I hope you will agree how fabulous it now looks. The work that has taken place over the last few months, completely funded by Otley BID, is as follows:
- Benches have been refurbished and re-painted at a discounted rate by BID member Houldsworth Builders.
- Wreath racks installed which was overseen by Otley Town Councillor / BID member Peter Jackson.
- New planting and grassed areas introduced by LCC
- Ivy has been cut back
- Shrubs and foliage has been cut back and maintained
Leeds City Council oversees the maintenance of the garden and did the improvements but, as they do not own the garden, they cannot pay for major improvements. We believe this is an important area of the town and that it should be maintained to a high standard to honour our war heroes and provide a pleasant outdoor feature which can be enjoyed by everyone.
We would like to thank the Royal British Legion, Leeds City Council and Otley Town Council for their assistance in making this happen.
Pictured from left: Cllr Ryk Downes, Town Cllr Peter Jackson, Otley Royal British Legion chair Doris Gagan, Otley BID chair Steph Lee.
We continue to meet with representatives of relevant departments and councillors from the city and town councils to discuss ongoing work to rejuvenate areas and premises owned by the city council. Meetings feature the river and Wharfemeadows café, the former One Stop Shop, Civic Centre and Westgate development. The councils are making significant progress on them all.
Work is due to start very shortly, funded by LCC, on the renovation of the steps used to launch boats onto the river. We are still hoping for a Summer launch of the boats but we are not quite there yet – we will keep you posted.
It is one of Otley BID’s key aims to improve signage throughout the town. It is great news that LCC Traffic Management have agreed to remove any signage not deemed relevant or past it’s time limit.