CMS appointed to provide management support to Amazing CMK BID


CMS has been appointed to provide management support to the recently established Milton Keynes Business Improvement District (BID), Amazing CMK. 

Following a successful BID turnout in February, Amazing CMK is now the UK's fourth biggest BID outside of London with a levy payer investment of more than £6million. 

Supporting the CEO and the BID Board, CMS shall provide support management and technical advice on a broad array of matters ranging from BID governance through to marketing. 

Melanie Beck, Chief Executive of the Amazing CMK BID said:

'We are delighted to appoint the team at CMS to assist us in the newly formed BID in Central Milton Keynes. The ability to draw down on the knowledge and experience that CMS offers will make our transition from a small membership organisation into a proactive and successful BID smoother and quicker.'

Paul Clement, CEO of CMS commented:

'We were pleased to have been engaged to assist with the development of the Amazing MK BID which in February became the fourth largest outside London. We are thrilled that our involvement is now set to continue with the signing of this new management support contract. Our whole team look forward to working with the Board and the BID team in Milton Keynes.'

For more information on the Amazing MK BID, click here to visit their website.

The i5 stages of BID development


CMS today unveils its enhanced BID development methodology, based on years of experience in place making and working with a range of BIDs throughout the country.

The i5 stages to BID development approach further strengthens the 5-Stages model which already enjoys a 100% success rate at ballot.

The proven methodology for BID development is recommended as the 5-Stages approach, launched by CMS in 2012. This approach has been adopted by DCLG’s BID funding arm and is embraced and expected by major levy payers and always successful when used correctly.

The 5-Stages process is;

  1. Feasibility Stage – a small amount of research to identify key factors, analysis of ratings information and the business community, ensuring engagement of the local authority.  
  2. Planning Stage – research and consultation, development of full BID Proposals.  
  3. Local Authority Stage – compliance with the Regulations, detailed ballot processes.  
  4. Campaign Stage – launch of the Business Plan, managing the ballot.  
  5. Establishment Stage – setting up the BID Body and creating the new BID.

This methodology has now been enhanced to the i5 Stages. The upgrade encourages a visionary, place-shaping approach to BID development built around a detailed understanding of each individual place and its catchment and competition. It is a knowledge and research-led approach which introduces a culture of constant improvement.

Click here to take a look at this.

This enhanced approach provides any Proposer with the tools to ensure they can manage levy payer expectations, comply fully with the Regulations and maximise engagement and participation not just during the ballot but for the entire BID term. CMS’ i5 Stages is about setting up a business to deliver. Not just a BID to win a ballot.

The 5-Stages remain the same. The i’s represent the approach required within each of them;

  1. Feasibility/Investigate – building the picture by gathering of knowledge  
  2. Planning & Local Authority/Insight – conducting detailed planning and research and using the results to determine the strategy  
  3. Campaign/Inspire – stimulating interest, enthusing and encouraging participation  
  4. Establishment/Implement – turning ideas into realities  
  5. Establishment/Interrogate – establishing a culture of constantly measuring, reviewing and improving throughout the term of the BID

The i5 Stages provide the Proposer with clear milestones throughout the process when decisions need to be made. The enhanced approach ensures that when decisions are required they are made with the reassurance and knowledge that a comprehensive and forensic approach has been undertaken to get to that point. The i5 Stages approach also embeds a culture of constant improvement within a business fit to deliver on its promises and what is right for that place.

If you would like to learn more about our i5 methodology and how we can support you in developing and renewing a BID please get in touch with us.

CMS appointed to provide BID renewal support to Manor Royal



CMS has been appointed to provide renewal support to Manor Royal in the lead up to their BID ballot in late 2017.

Manor Royal is the largest industrial BID in the UK, extending to 540 acres, including over 500 different businesses and employs over 30,000 people.

The CMS team will now work closely with the BID to help them deliver a successful second term.

Manor Royal Executive Director Steve Sawyer commented: 

"We’re delighted to be working with CMS to assist with our renewal process. Over the past few years the Manor Royal BID has achieved such a lot, aspiring to the highest standards in all we do. By working with CMS we will ensure we follow a robust and engaging process to give confidence to our levy paying businesses that we are going about things the right way to extend our work through a second term".

Commenting on this new appointment, CMS CEO Paul Clement said:

"A key component of any CMS tender for work is to get 'under the skin' of each individual place. I was thrilled to be given a walking tour of the Manor Royal BID area, accompanied by its Executive Director, Steve Sawyer. I discovered something that many may not expect - an incredible sense of place that includes high visibility branding; mixed uses including technology, office headquarters, warehousing, distribution and light industrial; proximity to the Gatwick Airport hub; more building work than I think I have seen anywhere else in my recent travels; and even parks and open spaces, one including a brand new table-tennis table for staff. It isn't a traditional industrial estate at all - it is a vibrant, multi-functional commercial district serving the needs of its diverse community. At CMS our aim is to operate where we can learn more about how different places are made to work; we will learn much over the next year and it is a fantastic opportunity for us. Thanks to Steve and the team for engaging us".

To read more about Manor Royal BID, please visit their website here.

CMS appointed to provide management support in Twickenham


CMS has been appointed to provide management support in Twickenham in the lead up to their BID renewal in early 2019. 

Some of the many services the CMS team will provide include dedicated Finance and HR management support, strategic and operational guidance, and marketing and communications support. 

The Twickenham BID team are committed to creating a desirable destination for business and shopping in the town and the team at CMS will now work closely with the BID to help them deliver their key initiatives in 2017/18. 

Serving up to 450 of levy payers in Twickenham. 

Twickenham BID Manager Gerry Barwick commented: 

"Try Twickenham are delighted to be working with CMS who are providing enhanced management support and strategic advice as we look ahead to our renewal ballot."

Commenting on this new appointment, CMS CEO Paul Clement said: 

"CMS has expanded enormously over the last year and our processes and systems are proving of great value to our managed BIDs across the Country. We are delighted to have entered into this long-term arrangement with the Board of the Twickenham BID and look forward to working with Gerry and the team to help support their local delivery." 

Every town centre is changing and Twickenham is no exception, with massive redevelopment underway. Twickenham town centre also abuts Twickenham Stadium which is hugely important to the essence of the place. Not only is it the home of the national rugby team but also the World Rugby Union Museum and it also hosts a series of concerts throughout the year. Thousands of people descend on Twickenham and the BID has a key part in showcasing it to the outside world at its very best.

CMS to investigate potential for BID in Maidstone


CMS has been appointed by Community Interest Company, One Maidstone, to conduct a BID feasibility study in the town centre. 

One Maidstone is dedicated to improving its appeal to residents and visitors, with a strong focus on enhancing the trading environment. 

Maidstone is a thriving town centre, home to approximately 900 businesses. The CMS team will work closely with One Maidstone to investigate the place and conduct feasibility research to identify the priorities of the businesses. 

Lloyd Wright, Chairman of the One Maidstone BID Project said:

'One Maidstone is taking its first steps towards research into the development of a BID for Maidstone and we are delighted to be working with CMS in these early stages. We strongly believe that a BID is the formula that will enable Maidstone to enter a new chapter of community cohesion and a chance to deliver improvements to the town from which we are all set to benefit, raising the profile of Kent’s County Town to a destination we can all be proud of'. 

Paul Clement, CEO of CMS commented on this announcement: 

'I am very pleased that we have been selected by One Maidstone to partner with them as they explore the opportunities for a BID. We have recently worked with one of the key partners, Capital and Regional Plc who own The Mall Shopping Centre, in Ipswich and Hemel Hempstead. We now look forward to meeting and working with the wider business community in Kent's County town'.

Introducing our latest CMSLite clients Saffron Waldon & Harborne


We are very excited to be supporting the BID development of both Saffron Walden (pictured) and Harborne. 

CMSLite is a technical support package for the 5 stages of developing and renewing a BID. Both locations will be working with their own dedicated Account Manager. 

Fiona Wright, Chief Operating Officer of CMS commented:

'The CMS team is thrilled to be providing support to both Harborne and Saffron Walden, both of which have the potential to go on to become exciting Business Improvement Districts. Saffron Walden via Uttlesford District Council has carried out their initial feasibility research and we look forward to supporting Harborne through this process too'.

Kate Smart, Village Centre Manager of Harborne Business association said: 

"We are excited to be developing a BID in Harborne and have appointed CMS to provide us with support based on their industry experience."

Central Milton Keynes successfully unlocks over £6million investment


Today businesses in Central Milton Keynes have voted in favour of establishing the UK's fourth biggest Business Improvement District (BID) outside of London, unlocking over £6million levy payer investment for the city centre.

The successful BID, which has been advised by CMS, will now run for 5 years (2017-2022) and be branded as 'Amazing CMK'.

80% of BID businesses voted in favour by number, with 82% in favour by rateable value, representing an overall turnout of 31%.

Melanie Beck, Chief Executive of the Amazing CMK BID said:

“After 28 days of voting, MKCCM are delighted to see a successful outcome to the Amazing CMK BID ballot. We are happy with the overwhelmingly positive mandate and look forward to delivering significant change to benefit the local area. Our core aim over the next five years is to ensure Central Milton Keynes is a safe, vibrant and enjoyable place to work, live and visit.”

MKCCM has been operating successfully for over 10 years and developed a strong vision for a BID identifying a clear set of priorities to make a difference to the city. Their vision was guided by the dedicated team at CMS who have successfully delivered BID consultancy with it's unique 5 stages of BID development model, resulting in more than £6 million of investment (with an annual BID funded budget of approximately £1.2 million) to be put back into Central Milton Keynes.

Paul Clement, Joint Managing Director of CMS commented:

"We are so pleased to have shared this fantastic journey with the fastest growing city in the UK. Central Milton Keynes is a great city for business and leisure and CMS is thrilled to have supported the development of an even more prosperous city, putting Central Milton Keynes on the map as one of the top 5 BID levy invested cities".

Editors notes:
This BID will run from 2017 -2022. For more information, please contact

What's on the horizon for the start of 2017?


It's been a busy few months for CMS and as we edge closer to Christmas we thought we would reflect on what's in store for some of our clients in the New Year. 

Wokingham have received a full feasibility presentation and CMS are helping them to establish a steering group to help drive the project forward. The full planning stage research will begin early 2017.

In Uxbridge, businesses will be receiving the final consultation document the first week of January and will have four weeks to respond to this with comments. These responses will shape the business plan going forward and will also give head offices the chance to respond to the feedback offered. 

In Beckenham and Penge, we will be on the ground from mid January, working to consult with businesses to ensure we receive consultation feedback form at least 45% of businesses in each location. This will be used to help shape the final consultation document and the businesses plan. 

So, it looks like full steam ahead as soon as we return from the Christmas holidays! Keep watching carefully as we bring you more updates on the progress of Wokingham, Uxbridge and Beckenham and Penge. 

CMS appointed to produce research study on BIDs in Birmingham


CMS (incorporating British BIDs) has been appointed by The Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr John Clancy, to produce a research study entitled 'Securing A Brighter Future for BIDs in Birmingham.'

Birmingham has a distinctive economic profile and is the UK's second largest and metropolitan British City after London. The City has a long track record of BIDs, with 11 operating models being in place within the City centre and surrounding neighbourhoods.

The aim of the study is to assess the role and impact of those BIDs already existing across the City, their future potential and alternatives for collaborative working alongside the Council and local communities, together with the opportunity for new development, industrial BIDs and future property owner BID potential.

Paul Clement, Joint Managing Director of CMS, said "we are delighted to have been entrusted with this important and innovative research project which should prove of great value to Birmingham and will undoubtedly result in new ways of thinking for the industry as a whole. The City Council has identified an opportunity for BIDs to form a key part of the growth agenda within an international City and we intend to explore all opportunities in collaboration with the existing BIDs, key partners and other stakeholder groups and organisations. Part of our work will be to draw upon a wide range of case studies including examples from other major, rapidly transforming, global cities."

Editors notes:

Final report to be presented to The Leader and the City's BIDs by the end of March 2017.
For more information, please contact

Preparing for their BID ballot: The latest from our client, Milton Keynes


We've been working with the team on the preparations for their upcoming BID ballot in February. Their business plan is due to go out in the first week of January, exciting times!

We have some business updates to share with you below. Take a look now!

Click here to see their December BID update, detailing the priorities for the BID and why a BID is so important to Milton Keynes.


Businesses vote in favour for BIDs in Putney and Wandsworth

Businesses in Putney and Wandsworth town centres have voted in favour of establishing Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), the first town centre BIDs to be set up in the London Borough of Wandsworth.

With both BID ballots running in tandem, 73.39% of businesses in Wandsworth voted in favour of a BID by number, with 82.57% in favour by RV, representing an overall turnout of 31.75%. 75.18% of businesses in Putney voted in favour of a BID by number with 73.5% in favour by RV, representing an overall turnout of 36.12%.

There are now over 260 BIDs in the UK. The recent release of the British BIDs Nationwide BID Survey reveals that London has the highest number of developing and active BIDs by region (23%), making the successful result in Putney and Wandsworth another success for London.

Commenting on the result, Sean Gillen, Head of Enterprise Delivery said:

"Undertaking simultaneous BIDs was no mean feat and it has taken a major effort by so many people. Naturally we’re delighted that local businesses have so wholeheartedly grasped this opportunity to set out and deliver the improvements they want to see, at a time when it’s so important for town centres to adapt and compete. Both BIDs have ambitious but achievable business plans which we hope businesses will continue to actively engage with as the BIDs emerge."

Paul Clement, Joint MD of CMS says:

"CMS is inspired by working on innovative projects, in great locations and alongside fantastic clients. I am delighted that our long-term relationship with the London Borough of Wandsworth has now resulted in the first two town centres of Putney and Wandsworth becoming BID locations, particularly bearing in mind that this required two ballots operated simultaneously. The Borough has, understandably, taken considerable time to ensure that, where BIDs are developed in their town centres, they bring increased investment, enhanced services, and a focus on appealing to new markets, whilst maintaining the historic focus on the importance of local communities."

Editors notes:

Both BIDs will run from April 2017 - March 2022. For more information, please contact



Central Management Solutions is delighted to have been appointed to work with and advise the Cambridge BID board and operations team on the BID’s first renewal process.

The Cambridge BID represents 1,100 businesses within the historic city centre – a collection of shops, bars, cafes, attractions and entertainment venues alongside professional services. It strives to ensure that visitors, locals and businesses enjoy a well-promoted and vibrant, safe and clean environment.

Cambridge BID’s second term would start in 2018. CMS are working with the excellent operations team to maximise local and national business engagement over the coming year. This is to ensure the BID can provide an aspirational, robust and forward-thinking business plan to those within its boundaries and one which fits within the strategic framework of the city and its future plans.

The BID will look at all current projects such as City Ambassadors, Christmas lights, Independents’ Week and Cleaning resource aswell as focusing heavily on determining a future vision for its businesses.

Fiona Wright, Joint Managing Director of CMS commented “Cambridge BID has a very engaged Board of Directors led by Ian Sandison and it was refreshing and interesting to spend time working through our first Task Force brainstorm yesterday".

More information about the BID renewal engagement activities and ballot dates will be released over the coming months and will be regularly updated on the website.



Bromley Council has recently commissioned Central Management Solutions (CMS), to work with the Beckenham Business Association (BBA) and the Penge Trader’s Association (PTA) to help to develop potential Business Improvement Districts in both areas.

Recent feasibility work undertaken indicates that both areas are open to the BID concept and would like to further develop an understanding of what BIDs could look like in their locations.

The two locations, which are geographically very close to each other, are nonetheless different in character and will be developed as two separate BIDs with two separate ballot timelines and business plans.

Jackie Groundsell, Chair of the Beckenham Business Association (BBA) commented:

“We are looking forward to working with CMS and learning about how to set up a BID and what benefits it can bring to the area. We have some fantastic businesses here and support anything that will help take us from strength to strength”

Equally, Judy Barrington, Chair of the Penge Trader’s Association (PTA) said:

“high streets are changing everywhere and it is important we keep Penge in step with this. The prospect of a united business voice in our area is exciting and one the Association is keen to look to for the future prosperity of our place. We met the CMS team recently and were heartened by their clear approach to BID development.”

The BID development will also include exploring how the BIDs could potentially share back office services and provide even more frontline delivery.

Councillor Peter Morgan, Bromley Council’s Executive Councillor for Renewal and Recreation commented:

“This is all about giving more control to Beckenham and Penge businesses, ultimately enabling and encouraging more investment, helping businesses improve their town centres.  The next stages of BID development in Beckenham and Penge includes more detailed and in-depth engagement with the business community, led by the respective trade groups,  into what the issues, challenges and opportunities are for them in their own areas.  It will be exciting to see what proposals come forwards and what might be achieved - nationally BIDs are very successful at providing services for their business community and the initial consultation indicates businesses are keen on developing the concept here.”

Paul Clement from Central Management Solutions commented: “We are very much looking forward to working with businesses in Beckenham and Penge in creating business plans that support development and growth of business and place together.  There are so many great examples around the country of projects delivered by BIDs. The real exemplar projects though are where the BID really gets under the skin of the area and understands the specific and individual needs of the place. We intend to work with the Business groups here to help form BIDs that do just that.”



It has been announced today that Ipswich Central, the town centre management organisation for Ipswich, will be continuing for a third term after businesses within the town centre voted to renew the Business Improvement District (BID) in a recent ballot.

Businesses within the BID zone were given a 28-day period in which to cast their votes for or against the continuation of Ipswich Central for a further five years from April 2017.

The result was announced earlier today by Ipswich Borough Council, who independently collated and verified the returned ballot papers.

The turnout was high at 64%, with 95% in favour by number and 95% in favour by rateable value.

There are now over 250 BIDs in the UK. Nationally, turnout in second renewal ballots is on average 52%.

Commenting on the result, Chairman of Ipswich Central, Terry Baxter said;

“This is a strong demonstration of the support our BID continues to enjoy from its members. To receive 95% in support by number at our second renewal and a turnout of over 60% demonstrates that the Ipswich BID remains extremely relevant to the needs and expectations of our levy payers. I also believe that those who have again shown faith in the BID, are looking for us to continue to be a strong, ‘Business-led’, voice at the heart of our developing town centre.”

Alistair Lang of Gotelee Solicitors and Chair of the Ipswich Central Renewal Steering Group commented:

“Listening to the business community at the heart of Ipswich has been a key element of this BID renewal vote. The team at Ipswich Central has played a critical role by gathering views from all those involved, laying out those views in a plan for the next five years and making sure the ideas are distributed and understood by those who ultimately pay.  That effort has paid off with a great result for all involved.  I have no doubt at all the Ipswich BID is a leading UK BID and a vital component of the exciting growth of our town.”



Work continues in Leicester... With their feasibility stage complete, we're currently helping the location on their vital business consultation questionnaire. Ahead of their proposed 2017 ballot, this is an exciting step for Leicester, leading up to their final business plan taking shape. 

CEO of Curve Theatre and co-chair of the BID Leicester steering group Chris Stafford said: “I truly believe there is potential for Leicester to be a top destination, not just for tourism and leisure but also for retail, hospitality and business.

“Leicester’s changed dramatically in recent years, thanks to the City Mayor’s investment in the city centre and a number of high profile events that have really put Leicester on the map.

“We are in a terrific place and it’s really important that we take advantage of this momentum and work together on Leicester’s BID to help develop a more vibrant and prosperous city centre.”

Keep an eye out for more updates from Leicester as we follow their progress closely. 


Hemel Hempstead: Public-private collaboration paves way for new BID

Hemel Hempstead: Dacorum Borough Council and Capital & Regional are working together to promote the development of a Business Improvement District (BID)  
Dacorum Borough Council has joined forces with a major town centre investor to continue its revitalisation of Hemel Hempstead’s main high street.

Following the success of its £30 million Hemel Evolution regeneration programme, the local authority is working with Capital & Regional to establish a Business Improvement District to create further opportunities for local shops and businesses.

The 1950s New Town has already seen dramatic change, including family-friendly improvements on the main pedestrianised area, a new bus interchange and restoration of the historic Jellicoe Water Gardens urban oasis. Further plans for Market Square will boost the night time economy.

Capital & Regional property investment trust purchased The Marlowes Shopping Centre in and adjoining buildings earlier this year for £53.8 million. Its aim is now to reposition The Marlowes area as part of the town’s wider transformation into a social hub fit for a 21st century retail and leisure experience.

Both public and private sector partners share the common goal of strengthening and diversifying the town centre economy and feel that a BID is the natural progression.

Councillor Graham Sutton, Dacorum Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration, commented:

“We’ve laid the foundations for a revitalised town centre and opened the doors to investors. The time is now right to work in partnership with the private sector to help businesses in Hemel Hempstead decide what is right for their town and take an active hand in achieving their goals.”

Ken Ford, Executive Director of Capital & Regional said:

“Together with Dacorum Borough Council, Capital & Regional wants to create new opportunities for businesses and investors. A BID will unite them behind the common goal of creating a thriving retail and leisure destination and strong local economy.”

With their particular expertise in Business Improvement Districts, specialist management and consultancy company Central Management Solutions (CMS) has been appointed to carry out the BID development alongside the existing Town Centre Partnership.

CMS will begin developing feasibility plans this month (October) to establish the needs and priorities of businesses in the area, looking towards a ballot late 2017.

The next step is to help businesses in the area to decide what is right for their town.

For more information on this please contact 



We are very excited to be working with Marketing Gloucester to help develop a BID for the rapidly developing city. There are a number of opportunities on the horizon for Gloucester set to strengthen its offering to shoppers, visitors, businesses and investors. CMS will be supporting Marketing Gloucester through each of the five processes involved in the development of a BID. Gloucester also have fantastic stakeholder engagement, all whom are committed to supporting the development of a BID and we are therefore delighted to also be a part of their journey. Welcome, Marketing Gloucester!



Earlier this year, our CMSLite support package helped Acocks Green Village BID on their way to a victorious BID ballot vote. We've caught up with their BID Manager, Sandy Gianni, to see how they are getting on in the BID world! Click here to read their blog. 



It's great to keep you connected with the CMS team. We caught up with Joint MD Fiona Wright for our latest 'spotlight on our team' series. Check it out here. 



Earlier this month, we announced our delight to be working with Eastbourne. 

CMS are working with Eastbourne to help them through the 5 stages of BID development. Having received their CMSLite box in the post earlier this month, we've recently caught up their CMSLite account Manager, Luke.

Luke and the team have currently been helping Eastbourne with their stage 3 milestone for Loan Fund, offering advice on BID levy rules and database completion for their ratings list. 

We look forward to hearing from from Eastbourne and bringing you updates!



We bring you our next Spotlight series. This time we feature Ben Collins, Business Development Manager at CMS. Look out for more team of these to come!  



Wokingham have had a town team and are looking at ways of investing in a sustainable method of delivering town centre management going forwards. CMS will work with both the council and business to help establish what it is that businesses want to see delivered to help drive Wokingham forward in the coming years. Welcome, Wokingham!



Spalding is a vibrant market town, one we are delighted to announce that we will be providing CMSFeasibility to. The town is well-known for its independent shops, historical buildings and vegetable cultivation. Spalding will now work with CMS and a dedicated account manager to ensure that a robust feasibility study is conducted, helping to establish the level of need and types of improvements required. A particularly robust feasibility study is needed here as there has been talk of a BID for Spalding since 2009. It is therefore a pleasure to help change this place for the better. Welcome, Spalding!



We are delighted and excited to be working with Eastbourne to develop their BID. The coastal town has seen great progress and investment, helping to establish itself as a vibrant and energetic location in the south-east. Eastbourne are also part of the Healthy High streets initiative with a steering group in place. Our dedicated Account Manager will provide the team on the ground with all of the technical support that they need throughout the process. Welcome to CMSLite, Eastbourne!



Let us tell you about our people a little better than what you can discover on our team page.  Earlier this week we released the first of our new Spotlight series with Paul Clement, Joint Managing Director at CMS. Check out Paul's interview here. We look forward to sharing more about our team with you. 



On 7th July, we had a fantastic team building day at Colchester Zoo. 

Check out some of our pictures from the day!