Business Improvement District plan for city’s high-growth commercial heart

January 16, 2020

Bristol could get another Business Improvement District (BID) later this year if a majority of firms in one of the city’s fastest-growing commercial areas vote in favour.

Bristol already has five BIDs in operation with a sixth – covering the Redcliffe and Temple areas – proposed by Destination Bristol, the city’s destination marketing organisation. 

Destination Bristol already operates the Broadmead and Bristol City Centre BIDs. The proposed new BID would cover an area stretching from the edge of Castle Park to Temple Circus and from Broad Plain in Old Market to Redcliffe Hill.

Those behind the BID proposal describe the area as “vibrant, thriving, sustainable, inspirational and welcoming”.

It would include many of the city centre’s prime up-and-coming and recently established development schemes including Finzels Reach, now nearing completion on the former Courage Brewery site, the mixed-use Glassfields and Assembly Bristol schemes on Temple Way, Soapworks in Old Market, the speculative 4 Glass Wharf seven-storey, 210,000 sq ft office building at Temple Quay and a 600,000 sq ft development at Redcliff Quarter.

Businesses in the area will be able to vote in a ballot in September whether to set up the BID. If the majority vote in favour, is anticipated that £5m would be raised over the five-year BID term. 

BIDs aim to enhance an area and the performance of the businesses in it through projects decided upon, and funded by, the businesses themselves.

Following an initial consultation stage, businesses in the Redcliffe and Temple area have been sent a draft prospectus which outlines how projects would be delivered if the initiative is successful, including:

  • Marketing the area and creating an identity for it
  • Improving the public realm
  • Ensuring that the businesses have a strong and effective voice
  • Aiming to make the area accessible to all
  • Ensuring the area is safe and free from anti-social issue.

Initiatives aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of staff and jointly delivered corporate social responsibility projects were also raised in individual meetings.

Jo Hawkins, who managed the Broadmead BID for 15 years, has been appointed Redcliffe and Temple BID development manager to lead the project, assisted by Tom Swithinbank.

At Broadmead BID Jo worked with retailers to maintain the appeal of the city centre’s main shopping destination, overseeing upgrades to its lighting, street furniture, signage and paving and leading marketing campaigns. 

She has met most of the businesses in the Redcliffe and Temple area and is excited by this opportunity to work with them.

“The businesses I have spoken to love this area, they have watched it change beyond recognition over the last decade and many are keen to work more closely with their neighbours to ensure that it improves further,” she said.

“This is where a BID could make a real difference by connecting businesses and delivering projects proposed by them for the benefit of the whole area.”

Jonathan Bower, a partner at transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, is part of the Redcliffe & Temple BID advisory group.

He said: “This BID offers a great opportunity to create an identity for the Redcliffe and Temple area, providing real benefits for our business and our staff.

“Working together we can influence how the area grows, ensure that it is well-managed and that our staff benefit from collaborative projects focused on improving their working environment and well-being as well as contributing back to the community.”

If the ballot approves the BID, all eligible businesses – irrespective of how they voted – would have to pay 1.5% of their rateable value towards in addition to their business rates.
Those that contribute to a managed space would receive a 50% discount to account for the services that are already provided to them as part of their management charge.

A further stage of consultation is now taking place which includes a series of workshops giving businesses the opportunity to help refine the BID proposals before a final prospectus is produced in April.

The existing Bristol BIDs cover Broadmead, the city centre, Bedminster, Clifton Village, and Cater Business Park in Bishopsworth, South Bristol. A BID covering Gloucester Road ended last March following a ballot in which a majority of its businesses chose not to continue with it.

For more information about the proposed Redcliffe and Temple BID, including the proposed boundary, contact or visit

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