Building up our home city with Bradford BID

Launching the Bradford BID 5-year plan

This evening (27th June), Bradford BID are set to launch a major 5-year plan to help develop Bradford’s economy on a vast scale, with an incredible £2.5 million of funding planned to be allocated to a wide variety of projects aimed at developing Bradford city centre into a real economic powerhouse.

Essentially, the BID plan is to apply a small tax to city centre businesses generating above a certain threshold of rateable value, creating an estimated total of £2.5 million over the next 5 years. In all cases, this will be a low tax, with even large businesses estimated to pay just over £36 per week - a fraction of the increased revenue they can expect to receive. All of this generated revenue will be used to support the development of Bradford city centre along four key lines:

Clean: Through the BID plan, there’ll be a focus on regenerating and developing the appearance of central Bradford, from preventing and reversing disrepair to cleaning streets of litter, ensuring that the city’s appearance reflects its positive approach to development.

Safe: There’s something of a mistakenly negative perception of Bradford when it comes to safety, which has had a negative economic and social effect. This section of the BID plan is designed to tackle this perception, reaffirming Bradford’s status as a safe, positive place to live and work.

Alive: Through organising a wide range of community-focused events, from heritage trails to street markets and art exhibitions, this element of the BID plan aims to transform Bradford into a far more positive and engaging city, bringing in visitors and improving engagement with local businesses.

Promoted: There’s a lot of fantastic businesses across Bradford, but many of them are left relatively unknown, with few opportunities to promote the services they provide. The BID plan aims to invest a significant amount of time and money in promoting and marketing local businesses (and Bradford itself), creating major economic opportunities.

The actual implementation of the BID plan is subject to a vote being carried out amongst businesses across Bradford, with the actual vote planned to take place between the 13th of September and the 11th of October, with results being announced on the 12th. Tonight, Bradford BID will be launching their full plan for the programme, giving an in-depth look at how they plan to make a real, immediate and ongoing difference for Bradford.

While Exa Networks are included in the area where the BID tax is applicable, we’re dedicated to supporting Bradford on all levels - along with the various community events we support and organise, we’ve pledged a signficant amount of extra funding to support the actualisation of the various projects carried out through Bradford BID, coming to a total of £25,000.

Discussing the launch of the BID, Exa director Mark Cowgill described the plan as ‘absolutely vital to Bradford’, marking another great step in the ongoing renovation of the city, and having ‘the ability to give us that final nudge over the line’ - we’re looking forward to seeing the full launch of the BID plan today, and will be promoting the programme as we get closer to the key voting period.

Supporting the launch of the Bradford BID programme today

What makes Bradford stand out?

Exa Networks is a firmly Bradford-based company (our office located just a few minutes walk from Bradford city centre), and as such, we’ve proactively worked to help support the local community in a huge range of ways. Along with sponsoring local charities and events (and working on the Development Board of Bradford BID), we’ve taken part in several key initiatives aimed at supporting businesses and schools across Bradford - and the wider UK as a whole.

Back in 2015, we launched exa.foundation as a way to directly give back to the education community by Inspiring, Supporting and Promoting the effective use of Computing in schools. We run over 100 events a year around the country, including teacher training, lessons and support for tech groups, while providing direct, free support to Computing teachers.

We’re also proud to have one of the UK’s first Digital Champions working as part of our team - our National Business Development Manager, Simon Eagles, works to support West Yorkshire businesses, providing digital guidance, support and networking to emerging companies around the Leeds City Regions, including Bradford, Wakefield and more.

Recently, Barclays Business Banking declared Bradford to be the best city for UK startups, specifically citing the city’s low rent, effective business support schemes and great infrastructure. Through the Bradford BID, we’re hoping to improve upon that even further, helping Bradford reemerge as a leading economic area, and an ideal foundation for everything from startups to large-scale companies.