December 2017

As we near the end of 2017, we interviewed CMS CEO, Paul Clement, about his views of the past year and of the year ahead. 

How would you summarise 2017 for CMS?

“We have grown the business and the team substantially and it has paid off for us as we have proven our capacity to work across more places than ever before. The range of work we are undertaking has now extended beyond just BIDs, important though they are to us.”

What was your highlight?

“In CMS it had to be us successfully undertaking 6 ballots in 7 days and assisting those places to achieve or renew their BIDs. It really proved to me the depth and strength of the team. I was also thrilled to see the British BIDs National BIDs Conference reintroduced so successfully.”

What has 2017 taught you?

“Two things really, although rather than teaching me them for the first time, it has reminded me of what I already knew – firstly, that to have a great business, you need a great team and we are lucky to have a strong leader in Fiona, our COO; secondly, BIDs must never become the solution or else they risk become commoditised, it’s what’s special about each individual place that is the real solution – what BIDs can help with is unlocking that potential.”

How is 2018 looking?

“Busy. In CMS we already have more BIDs developing than ever before and our management portfolio will grow still further. We also remain fully committed to the British BIDs team and have agreed substantial additional investment to further grow its footprint, increase its exposure and enlarge its range of services and benefits to members and beyond. 2017 has been a great year for British BIDs, and Chris and the team deserve huge credit.”

What should BIDs look out for in 2018?

“There will definitely be increased scrutiny of the management, governance and transparency of BIDs. The majority of BIDs are well governed and professionally run, but we all know that some fall short of standards of best practice, albeit sometimes unwittingly. I do also have a nagging concern that, as people explore different models, the size of BIDs could increase and their specialism and attention to detail diminished as a result.”

What do you hope for in 2018?

“I would like see the extension of Property Owner BIDs, but I fear that it might be some way off. Nevertheless, we need to keep pushing.”

What would be your New Year message?

“That’s really simple – ‘thank you’ to our team, our clients and our members.”

Office hours over Christmas

Please note that the CMS office will be closed from 6pm on 22nd December until 9am on 2nd January 2018 due to Christmas and New Year's holidays. For all business enquiries, feel free to send us an email and we will aim to reply on the first business day.

CMS appointed to develop a BID in Andover

December 2017

CMS has been appointed by Test Valley Borough Council to provide full BID support in Andover.

Andover is a market town with a rich heritage. Preparing for a Business Improvement District for Andover town centre is a key element of Andover Vision, a 20 year plan for the future of Andover based on a partnership of local residents, community groups, businesses and public bodies. The Vision has 5 themes:

  • Being part of a connected community
  • Having a great green environment
  • Being part of a thriving town centre
  • Supporting business, jobs and skills in the town
  • Access to great health

Chair of Andover Steering Group, Lisa Armstrong commented:

"I am delighted to be working in conjunction with CMS for the BID proposal for Andover. Andover has a long and fascinating history, but how much do local people really know about their town? Andover is a beautiful market town with many years of heritage. The Business Improvement District will bring both opportunities to town centre business owners and residents. The steering group will be engaging with local businesses to ask what they would want to see to enhance their town centre to not only improve business for them but to attract new visitors to our beautiful historic town.  Early suggested ideas have been a ‘café culture’ high street with a more exciting night environment and an improved market offering many more stalls and market atmosphere. We look forward to liaising with business owners to fully understand what they’d like to see and will enjoy implementing all that we can should the BID be achieved."

Over the next few months, the CMS team will all work closely to investigate the priorities and assess the needs for businesses in Andover.  Fiona Wright, COO of CMS commented:

"Andover has a great history which we thoroughly enjoyed discovering more of in our recent DNA with the BID Steering Group whereby we investigated the physical, historical and emotional aspects of the town. Each location we work with is different and it's been great to learn about the current plans scoped out in the Andover Vision. We look forward to assessing the needs and priorities of businesses in Andover with this in mind."

David Drew, who leads on economic development for Test Valley Borough Council added:

"The Council is pleased to be working with CMS to support Andover town centre businesses to prepare for a BID ballot. It is right that businesses are taking a lead in identifying ideas to help strengthen the town centre over the next few years.”


November 2017

Working closely alongside a dedicated Steering Group for the past year, CMS has successfully developed a Business Improvement District (BID) for Hemel Hempstead.

84% of businesses in Hemel Hempstead voted in favour of establishing a BID favour by number, with 86% in favour by RV, representing an overall turnout of 37%. 

The BID, jointly funded by Dacorum Borough Council and Capital & Regional demonstrates a unique working relationship between public and private owners. 

Commenting on the result, BID Steering Group Chair and Marlowes Shopping Centre Manager, Vince Williams said:

"This is a fantastic result for local businesses and the town. It gives us the opportunity to bring businesses together to shape our future over the next 5 years, by putting the building blocks in place to create a vibrant town centre that will attract more visitors, who are staying longer and spending more money with local businesses."

Almost £1million of levy investment will be put back into Hemel Hempstead over the next five years, complimenting the regeneration work already planned by Dacorum Borough Council and Capital & Regional, owners of the Marlowes Shopping Centre.

The core BID priorities will focus on:

  • Improving visitor experience and the working environment
  • Accessibility
  • Cleanliness. waste remove and recycling
  • Place marketing

The BID was developed using CMS' i5 stages of BID development. Associate Director of CMS, Lee Walker, said:

"It is excellent that businesses have voted in favour of the plans put forward by the Hemel Hempstead BID. The BID Steering Group have provided clear direction and show a determination to see more investment in Hemel. The BID can now deliver for the next five years against a strong business plan which will help to compliment the other fantastic development works that are taking place in the town."


July 2017

CMS has been appointed to provide management support to the recently established Uxbridge BID.

Following a successful BID turnout of 34.5% last Friday, 89% of businesses voted in favour for a BID by number, with 93% of businesses in favour by rateable value.

Over a five-year period, more than £2.5million of investment will be delivered to the area to improve Uxbridge for businesses, residents and employees. 

Working closely with CMS for the past 18 months, extensive research consultation has taken place to determine the core priorities for businesses in Uxbridge. CMS will now work alongside the BID to focus on the following areas, to support the local business community interests:

  • Reducing crime and its perception
  • Transport, parking and accessibility
  • Cleanliness, waste removal and recycling
  • Place marketing

Laurie Taylor, Director of Uxbridge BID said:

"The directors from Uxbridge BID are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to working with the local community and council in delivering a successful BID in the next 5 years for over 400 levy payers. We are looking forward to working with CMS to kick-start the establishment phase of the BID, having worked closely with them from the very start of the BID development and have appreciated their full support throughout this."

Fiona Wright, COO of CMS commented:

"CMS is really pleased to have been working with Laurie, Mike and the team on developing the Uxbridge BID for a better Uxbridge and is privileged to have been appointed to work with the Uxbridge BID over the next 5 years. The result is the consequence of hard work, a dedicated Steering Group and a strong business plan that now needs to be delivered for businesses in Uxbridge".

For more information on the Uxbridge BID, click here to view their business plan. 


July 2017

Businesses in Gloucester city centre have voted in favour of establishing a Business Improvement Districts (BID). 

85.8% of businesses in Gloucester voted in favour by number, with 87.7% in favour by RV, representing an overall turnout of 39.3%. 

There are now over 270 BIDs in the UK. More than £2.2million of levy investment will be put back into Gloucester over the next five years.

Commenting on the result, Chair of Gloucester BID, Nick Brookes said: 

"As a business owner in Gloucester I am delighted by this amazing result which provides Gloucester BID a strong and clear mandate to deliver on behalf of the businesses in the BID area. "I am confident that the BID will have a huge positive impact on the city."

Chief Executive of Marketing Gloucester, Jason Smith, said:

"Marketing Gloucester has the remit to support businesses and growth in Gloucester. It has been inspiring to be engaging with nearly 600 businesses in the Gloucester BID area and hear the positive messages from them about the direction the city is going. Without doubt the establishment of the Gloucester BID will make a real impact on the city over the next five years and the team at Marketing Gloucester feel proud to have been able to support the businesses in the city in achieving their goal of establishing the Gloucester BID and producing such a resoundingly successful result."

Paul Clement, Joint MD of CMS commented:

"I would like to thank the new Gloucester BID for selecting CMS as its development partner and to send them huge congratulations for the ballot result. It has been a pleasure to work on this project. The next 5 years will be very exciting with strong business support and substantial funds now available to help make a profound and lasting difference to the city."


June 2017

CMS has been appointed by the City Centre Partnership to provide full BID development support in Stoke-on-Trent City centre. This is enabled by a funding agreement with the City Council.

Over the past year, The City Centre Partnership has been evaluating the positive impact that BIDs are having elsewhere in the UK and have reached the conclusion that the model should be pursued locally. It will now investigate the development of a BID by undergoing consultation with city centre businesses.

A recent report* stated that the area has over £2billion of investment committed over the next 5 years, resulting in plans for over 30,000 new jobs. Famous for its history as 'The World Capital of Ceramics' (the Potteries), the City centre will be a major beneficiary of this substantial new investment. Redevelopment is already underway, with one example being the City's intu centre which launched a new leisure development, known as The Hive, containing seven new restaurants and a cinema complex. The City has launched a bid to become the City of Culture in 2021.

Jonathan Bellamy, Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Partnership said:

"We believe now is the ideal time for city centre businesses to capitalise on all this investment and look to build momentum off it, to help take our city centre forward. We believe that becoming a Business Improvement District would be the perfect tool to empower this and so we want to present and recommend this opportunity to city centre businesses."

Paul Clement, CEO of CMS commented:

"We are thrilled to have been selected by the City Centre Partnership as the development partner for their proposed BID. Our aim is always to create a model that is distinct to each place in which we work; the combination of Stoke-On-Trent's history together with its recent and proposed redevelopment makes this one contract we were determined to win. We look forward to meeting more businesses within the City centre as we commence our work."



June 2017

Colchester Community Interest Company (CIC) has appointed CMS to provide full BID development support.

Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town. Its thriving history is also complimented by present-day modern visitor attractions, a wide range of retailers and a popular array of food and drink premises.  

Renewed feasibility research to over 900 businesses in the area is expected to take place over the next month. The feasibility research will report back on the commonality of interest amongst businesses and an overview of the next steps and requirements for a BID to be developed and explored further.

BIDs in the surrounding area of Colchester are prevalent and are proving great worth for their places.  The CMS team will all work closely to investigate the priorities and assess the needs for businesses in Colchester.

Carl Milton, Chairman of Colchester Presents and Managing Director of high street department store, Fenwick, commented:

"If Colchester town centre is not to be left behind by other towns and cities in the region, we must find a sustainable funding model. The view at our shareholders meeting was that BID is that model. However, for a BID to go ahead, we require the support of town centre businesses and we are now embarking on a process which will seek levels of support for a Colchester BID".

We look forward to supporting and exploring further opportunities for Colchester and its potential destination offering. More updates to follow.

CMS welcomes Halebank and Astmoor to CMSLite!

June 2017

We are very excited to be supporting Halebank and Astmoor through their renewal ballots with CMSLite; our technical advice package which incorporates the recently launched i5 stages to BID development.

Halebank and Astmoor are two industrial BIDs, with 45 businesses in Halebank and 112 businesses in Astmoor. They will have their own dedicated Account Manager from CMS who will be providing support throughout the renewal process of both BIDs.

Diane Robinson, BID Manager said:

"The Astmoor and Halebank BIDs are delighted to be working with CMSLite as we start the ballot process for our 2nd renewal for both BIDs. We are particularly impressed with the logical ordering of the deadlines and the associated documentation provided that will help us immensely".

The CMS team look forward to being a part of this journey over the year and will be sharing more updates with you throughout. To find out more about CMSLite, click here to have a chat with Ben.

CMS appointed to take Lowestoft Vision BID to renewal

June 2017

CMS has been appointed to work alongside Lowestoft Vision Business Improvement District (BID) in the run up to its renewal.

Lowestoft Vision was founded in 2013 and the team has since been delivering a number of services with the following aims: to make Lowestoft more secure, more appealing, more attractive and more accessible. Supporting the BID's priorities, CMS will provide support and technical advice in the lead up to their BID renewal in 2018.

Feasibility research for businesses in Lowestoft is expected to begin at the end of June to begin to develop the future priorities of businesses for the next 5 years.

Danny Steel, Chairman of the Lowestoft Vision BID said:

"Lowestoft Vision, which is managed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, is delighted that CMS has come on board to work alongside the current team in taking our BID to renewal in May 2018. CMS come with an impressive record of success in BID renewals so we are confident they will be able to do the same for us. It’s very refreshing to work with a company that not only has the required skills and experience but also the enthusiasm to get the job done. These are exciting and positive times for Lowestoft and the business community in particular."

Fiona Wright, COO of CMS commented:

"Our role is to help support and guide the Lowestoft Vision BID through the months leading up to its first renewal. The Lowestoft Vision BID team is already concentrating and working exceptionally hard on delivering a very full programme of projects, all of which are key to local businesses. I am very pleased therefore that we can add that extra support for renewal planning and be an additional part of the team at this exciting time for their future plans."

For more information on the Lowestoft Vision BID, click here to visit their website. 

CMS appointed to provide management support to Amazing CMK BID

May 2017

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.

CMS appointed to provide BID renewal support to Manor Royal

April 2017


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

April 2017

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

March 2017

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

March 2017

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

March 2017

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

CMS appointed to produce research study on BIDs in Birmingham

December 2016

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

December 2016

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

December 2016

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


November 2016

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.


November 2016

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.”


November 2016

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.”


October 2016

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

October 2016

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 


October 2016

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!


September 2016

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. 


September 2016

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. 


September 2016

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!