What Does BID Do?
AGM’s can be boring affairs but as we’re often asked “what do you do?” I thought I’d blog about what what was said at our AGM, which took place on Tuesday evening, and give you all a better idea of what Elgin BID does and how we’re there to help anyone currently in business or looking to set up in Elgin town centre.
We have a large following on our social media platforms which has grown by around 150% over the past year. It’s there to be used as a FREE advertising tool for all our businesses. Just give us a shout and we’ll pop anything you want up there to help promote what you’re doing! We also run social media drop-in sessions for any of our members to get a little bit of guidance on how best to use it for their business.
Our new website has everything you need as a visitor, business or someone thinking about starting up in business in Elgin…..think of it as your one-stop guide to the centre of Elgin! There’s info on sources of support, grants, vacant properties and loads more for businesses along with a What’s On calendar and a heap of visitor information. We’d love you to pop on over and have a browse around. There’s always loads of things happening in Elgin so if you hear of anything that’s not listed just give us a shout and we’d be delighted to add it to the calendar.
Our events are the highlight of our calendar and probably what most people would associate us with. Each year they get bigger and better with the Food & Drink Festival being featured in the Herald’s “Best Food & Drink Festivals” list!
The new Christmas lights was a biggy last year. Together with the Elgin Benevolent Trust we secured new lights for the entire city centre. They’re fresh and modern and phase two of this sparkly project will be rolled out for the 2016 festive season.
Elgin has achieved WorldHost Destination Status….you can read all about it in my previous blog Elgin is a WorldHost Destination. Just this week there’s been filming taking place in some of the WorldHost businesses in town as part of their national PR campaign….keep your eyes peeled for that coming up.
And more national PR for Elgin happened last week. We were in a special town centre regeneration news feature on STV News which focussed on innovative ways Elgin is promoting itself with particular note to “South Street the Wedding Street” and the “Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere” heritage project. If you missed the report you can see it here (you’ll find us at 15 mins 26 seconds)
CARS is a scheme to help conserve our beautiful historic buildings whereby grants of up to 50% are available to people who rent or own in the city centre for repairs on the outside of their property. There is a massive pot of money and our investment in the scheme has led to a project worth £3.3 million
We try to provide opportunities for different types of businesses in the city centre, our most recent being the healthcare sector. Along with an organisation called Community Renewal, we held an event to bring NHS workers together with businesses in this line of work. They spent a whole afternoon in St Giles Church networking and learning about all the different services each group can offer with a view to working together more closely and imparting information of what’s on offer right here in Elgin to patients and customers alike. #HealthyElgin
We want empty properties filled, pure & simple, but we know that there are often problems when it comes to renting properties from agencies operating far away from Elgin. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to help. We hold keys to several vacant properties to help make it easier for people who are interested to get in and have a look around. Plus, if there’s somewhere you’d like to get in and see, but are having a problem with, we will go, on your behalf, to the owner or letting agent to help make that happen.
So, you’ve got your planning through for your renovation project, you’re delighted, things are really getting there. Then the letter drops through the post. Your plans don’t meet building standards requirements….back to square one, right? We can help! On a regular basis we co-ordinate meetings with all the people who need to be involved in renovating or changing the use of a building. We get you all sat around a table along with your architect/builder etc. right from the get-go so you can see what is viable and have all your questions answered in one go.
Come to Elgin on your Holidays
We’ve been working really hard to help boost the tourist attraction in Elgin. The Castle to Cathedral to Cashmere Heritage Project will be completed by the end of the year and we’ve been talking to tourism experts to aid us in identifying what could be improved to encourage more people to come and visit us.
Negotiations are underway with Moray Council to allow coach tours to drop passengers off and pick them up in the most convenient spots around the town.
We have also tried to address the lack of public toilet facilities in town by introducing the “Comfort Scheme”. Several businesses have taken up the scheme and their facilities are now available to any member of the public without them having to buy anything.
We exhibited at the Visit Scotland Tourism Expo where, along with other Moray towns, we promoted what we have to the national and international tourist market. Along with shouting to the world (literally), the best thing to come out of this was the relationships we developed with the other towns in the area who we’re now working really closely with to develop the tourism offer for the whole of Moray.
The long and the short of it is, we are here to help and support. So use us, get involved, give us a ring or drop into the office (the kettle’s nearly always on!)
We have a beautiful town centre that fairs much higher than the national average when it comes to shops and buildings in use. Our challenge to you is to think positive. There are so many, lovely independent businesses working away as well as some brilliant national chains.
Thanks for reading