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Harborne Business Association (HBA) are calling for Harborne businesses to get behind their drive to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in Harborne.

A Business Improvement District (BID) is part of the Government’s strategy to encourage local authorities and the business community to work together to improve their area.

Harborne could be the 12th Business Improvement District in Birmingham to receive the status, alongside areas such as; Jewellery Quarter, Sutton Coldfield and Northfield.

The announcement follows news that Halesowen businesses recently voted to become a BID – a clear vote for improvement.  Large scale investment is also going into Harborne’s other neighbour Edgbaston, whose ‘Urban Village’ development proposal, will see a new retail site on Greenfield Crescent as part of a wider vision for the area.

Harborne businesses must now vote to decide if the area is to become a Business Improvement District, which if approved will provide the area with internal investment, through a specific business levy which will fund improvements and initiatives.

Current improvement services outlined by the Harborne Village BID proposal include; safety & security, marketing, community events, Christmas lights as well as a dedicated BID manager to co-ordinate the projects.

Vice Chair of Harborne Business Association and owner of Brittain Opticians, Matt Rose said;

‘This is such an exciting time for Harborne, we really hope local businesses work together as a community and get behind our campaign to become a BID.

We are very lucky to work in such a lovely area as Harborne, we have a great retail centre with, a real mix of businesses, and the local community is brilliant, but we also have some real challenges which we need to address.

Other areas near Harborne are being invested in, with plans and developments happening right now, this is our time to make the right decision and ensure that Harborne doesn’t get left behind.’

The Harborne Business Association have appointed  Kate Smart, the former BID Manager for Kings Heath, with 4 years experience in BID Management including the Kings Heath BID renewal in 2012.  Assisting Kate Smart will be Tiger Bam Communications, who have handled Business Improvement District’s communication strategies for the past 5 years.

Kate Smart, explains  ‘Having seen the transformation and positive impact a BID can have on a suburban centre, and ultimately across a city, I know there is a lot of untapped potential for Harborne to benefit from the same investment.’

Statistics also reflect the positive advantages of receiving the BID status, for example, the recorded crime rate in Broad Street has reportedly decreased by 50% since the BID status and £2.1million has been generated by positive press media coverage in just a 12 month period.

Harborne businesses have been reviewing the draft proposal, and the Harborne Business Association will be distributing their final business plan in the new few weeks, with the first day of the BID vote taking place September 28th.

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