Swansea BID works hard to make Swansea City Centre a better place to shop, study, stay, visit and do business. It aims to drive the City Centre forward, improving experiences, standards and adding value, working in collaboration with all sectors.
We help make Swansea City Centre a cleaner, safer and more welcoming place, raising its profile through events and marketing campaigns, bringing direct benefits to businesses, and enhancing the City Centre users’ experience. We enable a coordinated investment in the place management and marketing of Swansea City Centre and its businesses, delivering on a set of agreed business priorities.
In 2020/21, Swansea BID swiftly responded to COVID-19 and put a recovery framework in response to the pandemic emergency, from crisis management to future transformation. We remained agile in our response and have reallocated resources to support businesses. In June 2021 we secured a 4th term ballot, the themes are which are below.
We significantly scaled up our communications with our levy payers, sharing updates from trusted sources, ensuring clear and concise messages. We also provided emergency support by continuing to be at the end of the phone and emails seven days a week throughout the pandemic. We ran and facilitated webinars to ensure our businesses could ask local authority departments and industry experts questions.
Using our fifteen years of partnership working, we stepped up. We provided leadership to our businesses ensuring support was coordinated, and our BID area operated effectively, managing fast-moving and very fluid circumstances.
Information to Governments
We participated and provided information to nationwide lobbying for business support and worked closely with the local authority, governments and national bodies. We provided insight to decision-makers helping influence support and grant funding for our businesses.
The Ranger team we fund towards continued to operate and provide an excellent service throughout the COVID pandemic to our essential businesses and staff and ensure non-essential companies were safe and that any issues reported swiftly.
The BID office team and Rangers continued to work closely with South Wales Police through the pandemic. Police Officer presence was increased in the BID using our intelligence to allocate resources, helping deter and manage anti-social behaviour and criminal matters.
Our cleansing team also continued to operate through the pandemic sanitising outside areas of essential businesses and public spaces, removed graffiti, and provided rapid response cleansing services to essential companies. They also worked in partnership with our Local Authority to undertake street cleansing in preparation for the city centre reopenings.
Sign Posting Communications
We significantly increased our signposting and communication's actively promoting businesses that remained open and hospitality businesses offering takeaways through our digital and technology-driven platforms.
Coordination & Communication
Our scaled-up proactive and targeted communications included providing information on relevant sector-specific COVID regulations to businesses and updating when needed. Our mature partnership working and insight led to successful reopening plans implemented through a well-established and experienced multi-agency approach. This included branded signage and messaging in the BID area and a series of webinars to support our businesses as they prepared to reopen after the lockdowns.
We sourced over 5,000 items of PPE from local businesses to keep the spend local supporting the foundation economy, provided companies with free risk assessments working with local professional consultants, COVID safe and messaging posters and thousands of keeping your distance floor decals. Through our long-standing relationship with the University of Wales Trinity St David's, we delivered c. One thousand visors to provide to our businesses, helping them get back on their feet quickly when reopening.
We supported the local authority in securing funding for four COVID rangers helping the existing ranger team on a day to day basis. This specific team focuses on social distancing, public communications and assisting the permanent ranger team daily.
Like other businesses, we pivoted and adjusted to the new normal as people safely returned to our BID area and businesses.
Using our mature partnership with our Local Authority, we facilitated securing new parking offers of £2 all day after 9.30 am in all Local Authority BID area car parks helping to swiftly recruit and retain people into the area and our businesses.
Marketing & Promotion
We reallocated resources to launch a local shop campaign over the Christmas period securing over £14,000 in external funding to support it. Our campaigns focused on support our businesses reached over 1 million people and saw an increase in digital engagement of 17%.
Outdoor Adaption Grants
We lead on the outdoor adaption grant for the BID area. We worked with eligible businesses to provide over £280,000 in grant funding to transform their outside areas, enabling them to trade through and beyond COVID in line with the government guidelines.
Swansea BID is at the heart of the continued growth, marketing, and management of the city centre's commercial aspect, making those confident statements about the city's incredible strengths, successes and appeal and celebrating its uniqueness while resulting in a lasting economic effect, bringing business benefits.
Collaboration is vital, with inspirational leadership and strong working relationships across the city centre delivering impact—Swansea BID is best placed to respond nimbly to the needs and requirements of those in the BID area.
WELCOMING & ENHANCING
The visitor experience is an increasingly important element to the success of city centres. Swansea BID works with partners to enhance the BID area’s overall appearance improving the customer welcome and ensuring Swansea city centre remains safe and welcoming.
Crime prevention and business support:
We provide financial support to the city centre Rangers, Night Marshals, Vulnerability Marshals, ENTE Cleansing team and additional Police Officers.
We work with businesses and other partners. For example, we will further develop our Swansea Against Business Crime partnership (SABC) with clear objectives to reduce the impact of crime against businesses and their staff and manage the Best Bar None scheme under our SABC operations.
Being a member of the National Business Crime Reduction Partnership (NABCP), we are working towards NABCP accreditations/certification complementing our membership of Wales Against Business Crime (WABC) which we are already accredited by. We are also further developing our Cyber Essentials Certification.
Working with partners, we aim to launch a civil notice exclusion scheme denying criminals access to BID area businesses helping reduce crime, losses and improve workers and customers security. In addition, we support the Public Service Protection Order (PSPO) that we have worked closely with partners to instate in the BID area.
We facilitate businesses signing up to the BID areas reduced cost digital radio system and radio system training. We have also further developed
and updated the information database (DISC) and will continue to build its capability to share information to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
Enhancing the appearance of the BID area:
Enhancing the appearance of the trading and visitor environment remains a key priority for businesses. We provide additional services over and above the
Council’s statutory services. We invest in the following initiatives to improve the overall appearance of the city centre:
• Street Washing and chewing gum removal
• Responsive cleaning services for businesses
• Graffiti removal from the private realm
• Greening and environmental projects
Enhancing the visitor experience:
To encourage visitors to explore all areas of the BID area and spread footfall and spend, we support and negotiate transportation offers. In addition, we support initiatives to welcome and support visitors to Swansea city centre.
PROMOTING & SUPPORTING
Swansea city centre has so much to offer, and we are working to maximize its potential. Through seasonal experiences, promotional activities and marketing campaigns, the BID will continue to promote our businesses and the city centre to visitors and residents to help increase footfall and spend in the city centre.
We promote businesses through our free BID and Big Heart of Swansea social media channels, websites, marketing campaigns and events. We are revamping and investing in new technologies for our discount/loyalty Big Heart of Swansea card and brand, which has over 155,000 in circulation
and a database of over c. 20,000.
Promoting the city to residents and visitors:
Our Big Heart of Swansea website has tens of thousands of unique visitors per year and a rapidly growing social media following of over 16,000, growing on average of 17% year on year. We work with partners to promote the city centre to visitors and create new opportunities for our members to showcase their business. We work collaboratively on exciting seasonal experiences, campaign activities to help attract more visitors and residents into the city centre. We will aim to maximise the busy periods of the year.
Support for events:
Quality events bring footfall into the BID area, and many of our businesses directly benefit from the increased footfall. Therefore, we promote and support events to attract as many visitors as possible.
We provide support, guidance and signposting to new and existing events to become financially sustainable. We work to enhance events with
business engagement, promotional campaigns and marketing support.
Delivering cost-saving schemes and cutting costs off the bottom line remains a focus. We use BID’s buying power to negotiate favourable rates on an array of services and products. WAs a result, we work towards reducing business costs even further and cutting bottoms line costs.
We promote and engage with workers in and around the BID area to promote what’s on and to communicate any promotional offers using our free social media and digital platforms and further fully utilise our in-house customer management system and direct messaging services to benefit all.
We provide support and management of recognised accreditation platforms for businesses to work towards, such as our Best Bar None scheme and our key partner support for national accreditation kitemark Purple Flag, which we were the first city centre in Wales to secure in February 2015 and have worked hard to maintain ever since.
The student market is an essential economic driver for the BID area and our businesses. We use our mature relationships with our cities universities and colleges to gather informed intelligence of what this demographic wants and needs, and work to recruit and maintain them after graduating through projects such as our Creative Bubble with The University of Wales Trinity St David’s, which has delivered hundreds of events and supported thousands of students since its inception.
We will also provide a dedicated Big Heart of Swansea Gift Card to keep money in the BID area and have plans underway for a new BID lead business information centre.
REPRESENTING & INFUENCING
A Recognised, Respected and Influential Voice for Businesses:
One of our key priorities is to provide our business community with a strong voice to influence decision making. We represent and champion business needs in local matters such as council service delivery and infrastructure and the areas exciting redevelopment/regeneration led by our key strategic partners, The City & County of Swansea.
We work with the area’s developers and investors as part of the city centre new stimulus and recovery plan. In addition, we lobby the Welsh Government, South Wales Police and Swansea Council on a whole host of matters and issues and ensure that we are our member's representative voice.
Through our memberships and national board representation with recognised national industry bodies, we continue to play an active role at a national level on policies affecting our businesses and their trading environment.
Representing businesses in Swansea city centre’s Longer-term Economic Plans:
Building on the solid foundations, we work with key partners to facilitate stronger partnerships and collaborative working; to achieve even more outstanding
visible business results. For example, working with the City & County of Swansea, national government, other partners and specialist advisors, we are a key partner in developing the economic plan for Swansea city centre, ensuring we represent all businesses in our BID area.
We work in partnership with local and national governments driving investment, growth and prosperity for all to benefit from and continue to be the conduit to businesses for partners being the go-to organisation for our businesses and investors concerning local government and public realm matters.