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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Burnley BID commended by High Streets Task Force Expert

 

The Burnley Business Improvement District (BID) has been commended by High Streets
Task Force Expert Graham Soult after the retail guru visited the town to hear about Burnley’s
plans for continued positive change.
The High Streets Task Force provides support to local leaders in town centres and high
streets in England and was commissioned by the government in 2019 as part of its Plan for
the High Street.
Graham, who is also an existing Fellow of the Institute of Place Management, was given an
in-depth walking tour of the town by BID Project Manager Andrew Dean to understand about
Burnley’s challenges, opportunities and new developments, before attending the Artisan
Market on Saturday 2 nd July.
Speaking about his visit and the information he learned regarding some of the initiatives and
projects Burnley BID has been delivering, Graham was full of praise for the direction the
town is heading in and referenced the positive impact of events such as the monthly market.
“My previous visit to Burnley was in 2014, and I was really pleased to see some of the
positive changes that have taken place since then,” he said.
“Despite the challenge of being launched just as Covid was starting, I’ve been impressed by
what I’ve seen of the work of Burnley Town Centre BID. In the Task Force, we often talk
about the importance of bringing places to life through markets and events, of actively
promoting what town centres offer, and of making sure that local partners are working
together to improve and champion their town.
“In Burnley, the BID is clearly an important driver of all these things, and I would always
encourage levy-paying businesses to get involved in their BID, share their ideas, and really
take advantage of all the support and promotion that is available.”
On the market, which has been brought to the town via a joint approach between the BID,
Burnley Council and Independent Street, he added: “The Artisan Market is also a significant
asset in helping make Burnley more distinctive and less “clone town”. With over 50 stalls this
month, the event helps to celebrate local producers, tackle negative or outdated place
perceptions, and attract new people into the town.”
Graham also mentioned the public realm, which the BID, Council and Charter Walk all help
to maintain through various projects, commenting: “I was impressed at the quality of
maintenance of Burnley town centre’s streets and public spaces, with a generally high level
of cleanliness, and planting that provides welcome colour and cheer. Flowers can make
such a positive difference.”
Following his trip, Graham will prepare a short report for the BID team where he will
summarise his findings and look at ways that certain areas, such as the town’s early evening
and leisure economy, can be developed and grown further.
Discussing the comments made by high-street champion Graham, BID Project Manager
Andrew Dean said: “It’s great to hear such positive reflections on the work we’re doing in
Burnley alongside our partners from someone who has visited towns and cities right across
the UK and has a wealth of experience when it comes to place management.
“We now eagerly await Graham’s report which will feed into our plans for driving the town
forwards and exploring channels which may help our businesses even more.”

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