The LGWR story so far...
The LGWR project started as far back as 2015, but there were a couple of false starts before the process began again in earnest in the summer of 2019 when BID specialist Eddie Linton-Smith and communications consultant Mairi Damer were contracted to support LGWR and get the BID ball rolling.
The original draft BID boundary for GWR stretched from Byres Rd to Park Rd, and a steering group/committee of local businesses was recruited from that part of the road in early 2019, and consultation with local business about the issues they face on a day-to-day basis began.
However, the steering group quickly decided that the LGWR BID boundary should extend all the way up to St George’s Cross - the group saw the trading area as a whole community where ALL businesses along the one mile stretch should be included.
Consultation of all the businesses along the stretch finished in May 2019, and not surprisingly, there was a mixed response (especially because there is an annual payment involved). Many businesses are very positive, some are against the project, and quite a number are non-committal.
To keep the communication open, LGWR now has a database of almost all GWR businesses and we are keeping everyone updated with occasional newsletters (check your spam folders please!) and via the LGWR website.
During the consultation, a number of improvement ideas and issues were identified which the LGWR BID will prioritise within its business plan. These priorities will be developed if and when the LGWR BID comes into being formally.
Out of the many consultation responses, 5 main themes emerged…
These broad headings will be developed over the coming weeks to prepare the LGWR business plan, and that will be shared with all traders ahead of the BID ballot which is currently scheduled for the end of February.
The current LGWR steering group has a big vision for what’s possible on GWR, but this is a diverse group with many shades of opinion. What is shared is a commitment to healthy debate about the pros and cons of developing and running a BID, and to putting the GREAT back into Great Western Road.