News

CMS successfully develops BIDs in five new locations

Combined levy income total of over £8million

July 2018


Over the past month, CMS, part of Savills, has successfully developed Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Bishop’s Stortford, Stoke-on-Trent, Maidstone, Saffron Walden and Colchester.

The successful ballots unlock a combined levy income total of over £8,420,700 over the next five years, funds which will be invested into projects and initiatives voted for by BID businesses for their town or city centre.

On 12th July, Maidstone, Stoke-on-Trent and Bishop’s Stortford achieved a resounding ‘yes’ to create a BID.

The results come at a time of particular interest from a national perspective, following the release of the Grimsey Review 2018 earlier this month. The review highlighted some of the underlying societal issues that have affected our town centres and the need for reshaping their future journey in times of enormous challenges and demands to save the ‘high street’.

One of the key findings from the Grimsey report was that all towns need to transform themselves by developing “plans that are business-like and focused on transforming the place into a complete community hub” and that the key to this is leadership. CMS has been able to successfully impart this forward-thinking approach over the past year, helping each location to create ambitious plans set out in their business plans, and paving the way for innovation and change to be achieved.

Chief Executive of CMS and Director, Head of Place Shaping at Savills, Paul Clement said: The period since the acquisition of CMS by Savills, has been our busiest ever. These latest five successful ballot results will make a real and tangible difference to the places concerned, all of which saw BIDs as their preferred mechanism to respond to the current pressures on the high street, thereby remaining as destinations in which people will want to live, work, and play. As these new BIDs now prepare to launch, I would like to thank all of our clients for selecting CMS as their chosen development partner.

CMS successfully supports Saffron Walden BID

June 2018

We are very happy to announce businesses in Saffron Walden have voted in favour of establishing a BID.

CMS have successfully supported Saffron Walden in developing a BID. 68% of businesses in Saffron Walden voted in favour by number, with 75% in favour by RV, representing an overall turnout of 47% 

Saffron Walden is a unique market town with an extensive heritage, amazing shops and businesses, an award-winning market, and great family attractions just on our doorstep. These all combine to offer great potential for the local economy.
 

CMS assisted Saffron Walden through the CMSLite Support Service, for more information about CMSLite, click here.

CMS successfully supports Colchester BID to develop a BID

June 2018

Businesses have voted in favour of Our Colchester BID’s business plan to revitalise and promote Colchester for the next five years after a month-long postal ballot, in which 85% of businesses voted ‘Yes’ by number and 83% by rateable value, representing a 36% turnout.

CMS, now part of Savills, have been working with the Our Colchester Steering Group over the last year to develop the BID. The BID’s business plan will now rev into gear to tackle all the issues sounded out by local businesses including homelessness, anti-social behaviour, improved streetscape, marketing and accessibility.

Commenting on the successful ballot result, Fiona Wright, COO of CMS said: "We are so pleased for Colchester. From the outset, we really wanted to ensure we understood the needs and priorities of businesses in Colchester and we're delighted to have been on this journey with the Our Colchester Steering Group in setting out the future in Colchester for the next 5 years. We have developed many BIDs, each with their own challenges. A BID for Colchester brings a tremendous amount of potential to the town centre and we are now just really glad to see this come to life in a thriving, vibrant town."

The Our Colchester BID Steering Group – which has been leading the proposed BID – will stay in place until the BID Board and BID Advisory Group are formed and fully operational, which will be by October 1st. Each sector will be represented to ensure the BID is singular and collaborative voice for one and all. Our Colchester BID will aim to be certified through British BIDs Accreditation, an award in respect of internal quality management systems within its first term.

Carl Milton, Chair of Our Colchester BID Steering Group, said: “This is a historic day for Colchester and will allow town-centre businesses to shape the town with a shared vision. The BID can now move forward in its aim to rejuvenate and revitalise Colchester over the next five years with a guaranteed £2 million investment. A thriving town is good for everyone and it will allow us to put Colchester back on the map and ensure it is a hugely-attractive final destination for new business and visitors alike.”

Peter Scopes, Centre Manager of Lion Walk, said: “Securing the backing of town-centre businesses is fantastic news and we can’t wait to get started. The BID has outlined a wide array of proposals to guarantee that Colchester remains competitive when attracting business and visitors to the town. We will now be able to speak with one voice and promote Colchester on a national platform.”

To view the full business plan for Our Colchester BID please visit www.ourcolchester.co.uk.  

Head of Place Shaping, Paul Clement, Chairs Public Policy Exchange Conference

June 2018


We were invited to yesterday's Public Policy Exchange Conference to chair discussions on the Future of the High street.

Over 50 people gathered for the day where a series of presentations were given from guest speakers, including Chris Fowler from Local Data Company, providing healthy debates.

Chairing the event, Paul presented his thoughts on the current situation on the high street, and future recommendations. He emphasised his views and research into why the high street is not 'dead', contrary to current negative press on the closures of House of Fraser and other big national retailers.

It was hugely encouraging to gauge various views from the audience, and we are always welcoming conversations on this topical subject. 

To talk to us more about the health of the high street, do feel free to get in touch.

CMS successfully supports Lowestoft Vision BID to continue for a second term

May 2018

CMS, now part of Savills, has supported Lowestoft Vision through its renewal BID ballot following a successful ‘yes’ vote from local businesses on Friday 25th May.

Following a 56% turnout, 77% of businesses in Lowestoft voted in favour by number, with 89% in favour by rateable value (RV).

Alongside the 300+ BIDS in the UK who deliver a number of initiatives to improve and enhance their local areas, Lowestoft Vision BID will continue to focus on a number of key themes including making the area more attractive and appealing, more influential as well as more secure.

Danny Steel, chairman of Lowestoft Vision, comments: “This is a great result for Lowestoft and in particular for the town’s retailers. With 77% of voting businesses backing a ‘yes’ outcome and nearly 90% by rateable value this is a massive vote of confidence in the town’s future. The Lowestoft Vision team can now press on and by working with our levy-payers we can deliver our ambitious initiatives to further improve the town centre for the benefit of everyone. I would also like to thank the board, the town committee and staff for their tremendous energy and hard work not only in the run-up to this successful ballot, but over the last five years as well.”

Sophie Alexander, Associate Director at CMS, adds: “It has been great working with a team that has their businesses at the heart of everything they do. The BID team and board of directors have worked tirelessly to make sure the next BID term brings businesses what they have voted for. It is also encouraging that Waveney District Council has supported Lowestoft Vision, which is an example of how well local authorities and BIDS can work together.” 


International real estate advisor Savills acquires CMS

30th April 2018

Established in 2011 by CEO, Paul Clement, all 28 staff members of CMS will join Savills with immediate effect. At Savills, Paul will assume a new role for the business as head of place shaping.

With a national coverage, we have built a strong reputation and client base across the UK providing place-shaping and place-marketing services, with the aim of transforming town and city centres to create locations where people want to live and work. We have a particular specialism in developing, renewing and managing Business Improvement District (BID) companies, which are business-led and business-funded, formed to improve commercial areas by representing local operators to support them in augmenting and defining their local area. This creates an immediate synergy with Savills property management division, particularly in terms of its retail, marketing and commercialisation services.

CMS currently provides management support to 11 BID locations and is developing new BID models in Maidstone, Colchester, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Andover and Stoke-On-Trent.

Mark Ridley, CEO of Savills UK and Europe, comments: 

“The established reputation of CMS will add a new dynamic to our already very strong property management division, which is a key service line for our business. Its reputation in place making and the development of BIDs will also expand our client offer and help to add value to their existing portfolios.”

Nick Herward, head of property management at Savills, says: 

“Having an in-depth knowledge of the areas in which our clients operate and own schemes is a vital part of our service and the integration of CMS will therefore provide a fundamental new offer to our existing business, as well as complementing the overall expertise within the management division. The importance of place making and the return investment that BIDs can bring to an area is crucial to ensuring the success of any development and this acquisition underlines our commitment to providing a first class and comprehensive client service.”

Paul Clement, CEO of CMS, adds:

“CMS now operates in numerous locations across the UK and has grown rapidly over the past seven years. There is an obvious synergy between the work of Savills and the place shaping guidance offered to clients by CMS. We are delighted with the opportunities that this acquisition by Savills will provide to enhance the service to our clients and help to widen our footprint.”

BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL RELEASES REPORT INTO BIDS IN THE UK'S SECOND CITY

March 2018


CMS has today published a comprehensive report entitled 'Securing a Brighter Future for Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Birmingham,' commissioned by the City council.

The report explored Place Management opportunities for BIDs in Birmingham. In response to advice requested by Birmingham City Council, CMS conducted in-depth quantitative and qualitative research on 11 BIDs in Birmingham, identifying a number of recommendations surrounding structure, finance and standards.

Paul Clement, CEO of CMS said:

"This is a different piece of work for the industry in that it takes Birmingham, the UK's second City, as its case study, and reflects upon its long history of BIDs and their role as key drivers for its economic growth. It identifies very different types of BID within one City, particularly distinguishing between city centre and neighbourhood models. There is much that the City and its BIDs can be proud of, though we take the opportunity for some reflection as to how more can be done, particularly by the local authority, to further support, develop and improve the model in the future. We make a number of recommendations intended to assist both current and future BIDs, as well as the City Council."

The CMS team have a wealth of experience in Place Marketing and Place Visioning. To read the report, click here.

CMS APPOINTED TO EXPLORE A BID FOR ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS

March 2018


CMS has been appointed to work closely with Royal Tunbridge Wells Together to explore the potential for a BID to be developed.

Initial feasibility will take place over the next few months to conduct an assessment of the likely BID area and levy payers, together with a high-level business survey. 

The historical spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells is one of England's most affluent and vibrant towns and boasts a variety of independent shops. It is well-known for its picturesque, world-famous gardens and countryside attractions.  

Fiona Wright, COO of CMS commented:

"We look forward to working with the Royal Tunbridge Wells business community over the coming months, and in particular forging a real understanding of the place DNA. Royal Tunbridge Wells Together is made up of an ambitious team of people which paves the way for an exciting journey ahead as we come to assess the potential for a BID for the town."

Karen Pengelly, Town Centre Manager of Royal Tunbridge Wells Together said:

"Royal Tunbridge Wells Together is pleased to announce the commencement of a widescale consultation study with our local business community. Finding out exactly what the priorities, aims and aspirations of our local businesses are will help us shape our future activities and the support and assistance that we can provide to businesses. The time is absolutely right to discover whether a BID could meet their expectations, we know that BIDs are a proven model elsewhere, we will soon know whether this model could work in Tunbridge Wells. We are looking forward to working with CMS over the coming months."

CMS APPOINTED TO PROVIDE MANAGEMENT SUPPORT TO BID LEICESTER

March 2018

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

Last week, BID Leicester hosted a well-attended launch event for its BID businesses. Highlights included talks on the value ambassadors bring to an area and the ambitious plans for the BID in its first 100 days.

Over the next five years, £4.2 million worth of investment will be delivered to Leicester city centre. Together with CMS, the BID will now focus on the following areas:

  • Improving the overall visitor and resident experience
  • More effective marketing to drive footfall and sales
  • Providing businesses with a strong voice, support and engagement

BID Leicester Chair, Gary Rowntree & John Lewis Manager in Leicester commented:

"Following our great working relationship with CMS over the past year and the successful BID ballot result for Leicester in November, we are delighted to appoint CMS to provide management consultancy to our BID. Leicester is a fantastic city, one which until now was the biggest city in the UK to exist without a BID. We are therefore very pleased to be able to have the opportunity to deliver the core BID priorities as outlined in our business plan over the next five years and invest over £4.2m into our city centre for our businesses. We look forward to working with CMS to make this happen".

Paul Clement, CEO of CMS commented:

"This is a great addition to our management portfolio and I am grateful to the Leicester BID Board for the confidence they have shown in us".

DECEMBER IS A TIME FOR REFLECTION

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.”


CMS SUCCESSFULLY DEVELOPS A BID FOR HEMEL HEMPSTEAD

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."

CMS APPOINTED TO PROVIDE FULL BID DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT IN STOKE-ON-TRENT

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."

*Reference: www.makeitstokestaffs.co.uk