Businesses and supporters have gathered at Birmingham Hippodrome to launch the Yes campaign in support of Southside Business Improvement District in its renewal ballot.

More than 80 local businesses and supporters of the BID attended the launch this month to hear from board directors, business owners and members of the Southside community about the positive impact the BID has had on safety, cleanliness and additional investment resulting in increased footfall and new business start ups in the area.

More than 250 businesses will have until Thursday 19th November to vote in the renewal ballot for Southside BID to help secure a mandate for another five years. 

Launched in 2011, Southside BID – which covers the city’s theatre district, Gay Village and Chinatown – has overseen an investment of almost £2 million in a range of initiatives that have helped it become one of the city’s most diverse and thriving districts.

Cllr Penny Holbrook, cabinet member for skills, learning and culture, said: “Having recently joined Southside BID’s board it’s not difficult to see the fantastic achievements they have accomplished in the past five years. The BID has led the charge in creating a welcoming environment through initiatives such as street and taxi wardens and regular street cleaning, which have meant more visitors, more new businesses and more investment. Without the BID these initiatives will cease to exist, which could prove detrimental to the area and its development.” 

Southside BID is funded by the 260 eligible businesses within the district paying a percentage of their ratable value, which raised £1.6 million over the previous term. A further £192,685 was raised from the private sector and another £175,000 in grants was also secured for businesses in the area making the BID excellent value for money.

Julia Chance, BID Manager at Southside BID, said: “The BID has achieved so much in its first five years and we have big plans for BID 2 should we be successful in the renewal ballot.

“The response and support from local businesses has been overwhelming and we’re encouraging all levy payers to continue to support us in making Southside a greener, cleaner, brighter and safer environment for not only visitors but the people who work and live in the district.”

Businesses have until 19th November to return their ballot papers.