From hosting amazing events to employing new staff members the BID has had a very successful and eventful 2018. The team have achieved great goals this year and as the new year quickly approaches us and brings with it new and exciting projects, the team would like to share with you a few highlights. To view the BID’s year at a glance, click here.
Supporting the Levy Payers
Go! Southampton started the year with the launch of the procurement scheme in partnership with Meercat. To date we have saved Levy Payers over £57,870, with one business, saving 70 times their BID Levy. This scheme has helped many Levy Payers save on energy, telecoms and other bills.
As part of the Stronger Business Theme group, the team have also been representing levy payers at key meetings including the Clean Air Zone Consultation, Southampton Airport Draft Masterplan and the Connect 2040 – Transport briefing. The BID also sponsored the Get Inspired event once again to give 1400 young people the opportunity to learn about the range of careers available to them in Southampton.
To help reduce the impact of business crime and anti-social behaviour (ADB) suffered by our levy payers, Go! Southampton has recruited a dedicated team member whose role it is to liaise directly with businesses in relation to persistent and ongoing crime and ASB issues. The Case File Builder role is upheld by Martin Conlan. Martin has recently retired from his position as City Centre Sergeant in Southampton, a role in which he served for 13 years. He is working in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary to deliver a targeted approach to deal with prolific offenders and organised crime.
GO! Southampton is also supporting a new initiative that will recognise businesses in Southampton that make a positive contribution to the city’s development as a visitor destination. The Southampton Tourism and Retail Awards (or STARs) will honour and gain public recognition for the achievements and positive contributions of professionals working across the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors.
Developing the City’s Events Calendar
In the past year, the BID has supported the Arts & Culture programs of the city. Taking part in the launch of studio 144 was only the beginning! As we moved further into the year Go! Southampton supported Solent University alumnus and world-renowned artist Kev Munday, in the animating the city’s bins project.
During the summer, we launched a very successful Seaside in the Square event that hosted live music every weekend, sports and family activities every day and weekly outdoor cinema viewings. This event was not only a success in bringing live music and animation to the city centre during the summer, but it also brought circa 30,000 additional visitors to the Cultural Quarter. Our Seaside in the Square event helped increase revenue for many businesses and gained very positive media coverage.
In September, the BID proudly supported Music in the city, the biggest and best free music event in Southampton. The event started 10 years ago, and every year brings great local talent to 20 venues in the city. From 800-year-old historic buildings to quirky coffee shops and bars, the project brings not only free entertainment to locals and visitors but also new customers to each venue.
In early October, the BID made Southampton laugh by working with Comedy Central on their first ever UK comedy festival, Comedy Central Live The event had national exposure and brought some of the biggest names in comedy to the city, such as Jimmy Carr and Russell Howard. The BID also organised warm up event, Go Giggle, which took place in 10 different venues during the week leading up to Comedy Central Live.
Later in the month, Go! Southampton organised the first Foodie Fortnight event, which attracted a lot of interest from our Levy Payers. 20 businesses took part and said that they would like to participate again next year and over 500 people claimed the £10 or £15 deals through the website.
For Christmas, the BID organised a bigger countdown event, that was broadcast live on ITV, with celebrities, musical performances and fireworks! In the true festive spirit, the BID joined forces with Southampton City Council to promote Christmas in the city through outdoor, radio and digital adverts and the distribution of promotional leaflets to 40,000 homes. The countdown event was a great start to the Christmas festivities and at the beginning of December Go! Southampton launched the Ultimate Advent initiative. This campaign has allowed 24 businesses the opportunity to promote their business and attract new customers through a comprehensive digital and print campaign.
Throughout the year the team organized city centre trails, giving families a new fun way to explore the city and businesses, new customers. There were over 2400 participants.
Marketing and promoting the City
Besides marketing the city through organising great events, the BID has commissioned Carswell Gould to undertake a PR project for the city. The project will help Southampton get coverage in regional, national and international media.
In the Spring, Go Southampton partnered with LoyalFree – the multi-award-winning digital app for local businesses, giving Levy Payers a free listing for their business, helping increase sales and reward their best customers with discounts. The app currently has over 80 offers and over 1500 app users with a conversion rate of 47.9%.
The BID has also started working with stakeholders on the development of a new visitor website for Southampton. Each levy payer will be able to list their business on the website, giving many of them an online presence.
Having A Better City Centre Experience
The BID has commissioned The Welcome People to manage Southampton’s city rangers. The Rangers have a daily presence in the city centre and meet regularly with BID Businesses. They play a vital role in helping to keep the city clean and presentable as well as ensuring our visitors have a positive experience and have helped over 12,000 visitors to date.
To help the better welcome project the BID team has provided a tourist information stand at major events and open days throughout the year. The BID also commissioned the design and print of 200,000 visitor maps and 50,000 maps for visiting crew.
The Rangers scheme provides a 7-day, daytime service with links to Southampton City Council’s enforcement teams, the police, Southampton Business Against Crime (SOBAC) and other organisations that deal with issues in the city centre. So far, the Rangers Scheme has an 84% success rate on all reported environmental and cleansing issues. Furthermore, the new cleansing team, launched in September, has resolved 89% of issues reported to them through, for example, hot washing pavements and street furniture and removing graffiti.
As for animation of the city on special occasions, this year the BID worked with the council to install over 250000 LEDs across the city centre for Christmas.
Preparing for an Even Better 2019
- Bring you free monthly workshops, Go! Digital to help you develop your online presence and empower you to create content.
- Launch the new Visitor Website for Southampton
- Launch a city magazine
- Build a city dashboard for Levy Payers
- Hire a Case File Builder
- Build a Vision for the city
- Animate the city
- Health & Wellbeing (board presentation)
- Corporate social responsibility
- Implement the Inward Investment Strategy
To find out more keep an eye on the website and subscribe to the e-newsletter.
Go! Southampton Team