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 co-ordinated investment in the place management and marketing of Swansea City Centre and its businesses, delivering on a set of agreed business priorities, addressing five core themes identified and agreed upon during the formation of the most recent business plan.
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 have remained agile in our response and have reallocated resources to support businesses.
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.
Co-ordination & 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.