Andrew Cooper, manager of Bath Business Improvement District: Why the BID’s collaborative culture is the solution to tackling age old problems in the city

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Written by:   | Posted 17-September-2013 9:48

Andrew Cooper, manager of Bath Business Improvement District: Why the BID’s collaborative culture is the solution to tackling age old problems in the city

If you want something done, ask a busy person” is a saying I am a great believer in.

Our small team of BID rangers cover a multitude of tasks around the city centre with no task seemingly too big or too small, they are a real example of just getting on with the job in hand, quickly and efficiently. It is this philosophy we employ at the Bath BID particularly when faced with difficult problems to solve.

By far the most effective problem-solving method we use is to work in a collaborative manner with other businesses, organisations and city centre residents. This approach not only helps identify individual strengths and existing skills that we can tap into but also encourages involvement, ownership and inclusion in city centre issues and how they are managed.

As the BID is a small, nimble team, it allows us to be creative and ultimately productive.

Highlighting to BID levy payers the issues that need to be addressed in the city centre has not only sparked ideas but often spurred businesses to jump into action. Staff from McDonald’s restaurant in Bath are a prime example with a team recently volunteering to help the BID paint some tired looking bollards at the bottom of Milsom Street.

The quality of the painting and the detailing in gold leaf really enhances the public realm which we all use on a daily basis. Improving our environment has a positive knock on effect to the dwell time of customers and makes our city a pleasant place to conduct business.

Providing extra pairs of hands can at times be much more valuable than a financial contribution and the BID acts as a catalyst to support businesses who want to get involved in improving Bath for the benefit of all.

The in kind support the BID receives from local businesses is quite staggering.

This ranges from supplying uniforms for the BID rangers, to sponsoring vehicles, office space, materials, professional expertise and consultancy, as well as providing their staff to help with various BID initiatives and events. This collaborative approach is key to the success of the city in tackling the hard to do issues and making sure we are ambitious in carrying out new events and initiatives that have a direct benefit to us all.

One area where greater collaboration is required is the increasing issue of seagulls in the city.

In Bath, the BID’s timed waste collection service in partnership with Sita and the provision of seagull proof bags to our businesses is one of the first collaborative BID initiatives of its kind, introduced to reduce the instance of rubbish bags being ripped open and strewn across the streets, as well as to improve the general appearance of our city on rubbish collection days.

Businesses and residents are working together through the BID to tackle day to day issues, saving money and providing solutions by working together.

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