The Birmingham Welcome
Retail BID will ensure whether you’re a visitor, business or resident, the city centre is a great place to be.
- Maintain regular BID team visits to quickly address local issues
- Provide additional deep and spot cleaning services of pavements and frontages within the BID area
- Invest in new floral features for pedestrian areas during spring and summer
- Invest in new festive decorations and ‘landmark’ lighting pieces to ensure the city centre sparkles during the Christmas trading period
- Work alongside Birmingham City Council to ensure baseline operations in the BID area, such as street cleaning, are delivered effectively
Charity Fundraisers or ‘Chuggers’
Many charities choose to raise funds by approaching members of the public and asking them to make regular donations by direct debit. They are sometimes referred to in the media as ‘chuggers’, and we have worked with Birmingham City Council and the Institute of Fundraising to come to an agreement that limits the number of fundraisers in the city centre and sets out their expected standards of behaviour.
As part of this agreement, there will be no direct debit fundraising allowed in the city centre on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Direct debit fundraising will be limited to 12 fundraisers working over three small areas on other days. This agreement has reduced the number of fundraisers operating in the city centre by over 75%.
We will continue to work with the city council to monitor this agreement to make sure it works for shoppers, residents and the charities.
If you want to complain about this type of fundraising you can find out more at www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/
Re-Imagining New Street
New Street is Birmingham’s most prominent street, linking High Street and Bullring to the Town Hall, Victoria Square, and beyond to Brindleyplace. It is a vital East-West pedestrian route that sees an average footfall of 32,000 people per day and peaks of 50,000 at weekends, as well as an average of 23,000 people each day moving across it between New Street Station and Colmore Business District to the north.
This is a once-in-a-generation chance to get the basic foundations of a great street right, and deliver a truly world-class street environment to match that of the newly refurbished spaces of Corporation Street, Grand Central and Mailbox, as well as our independent arcades.
There is already considerable private sector investment along New Street, with a new flagship Apple store, Watches of Switzerland and a H&M concept store in place of the closed BHS.
Our ambition is to re-energise New Street as a premier destination. New Street provides balance to the city centre, and it must retain its role as an active and exciting place for business that is appealing, safe and accessible.
Retail BID and its members, in partnership with Birmingham City Council, will lead the reimagination of New Street. This programme stems directly from the Retail Birmingham Design Strategy developed during our first term, and is yet another step in the journey towards establishing Birmingham as a world-class destination for visitors, staff, existing businesses and potential investors.
Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police and Retail Birmingham have received an increasing number of complaints from local residents, shoppers, other visitors and businesses about the activities and behaviour of some individuals and groups, including the use of amplified projected speech by Street Speakers and amplified performances by Buskers and Street Entertainers in the city centre.
In regard to Busking and Street Entertainment, singing or music being played well and at a reasonable and considerate level does enhance city centre life and everyone wants a vibrant city centre. In certain cases however, the volume of a performance or the number of performers is such that it causes a problem to nearby residents, visitors or businesses.
With regard to Street Speakers it is lawful in principle to preach religious and political beliefs on the streets of Birmingham and to hand out written material. The European Convention of Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 grants an absolute right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The rights to manifest religious beliefs and to freedom of expression however are qualified. This means that they are rights that require a balance to be struck between the rights of the individual and the needs of the wider community or state interest.
The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 allows the City Council to obtain a Public Spaces Protection Order to tackle a wide range of anti-social behaviour problems linked to noise, alcohol and nuisance dogs, where it appears to the City Council that these activities may be having a detrimental effect to the quality of life of those in the locality.
Retail Birmingham works closely with Amey, the highways contractor for Birmingham City Council, to ensure defects in the paving, lighting or any other street operation issues are reported and rectified quickly. The BID remaina committed to ensure that the Local Authority maintains the public realm to an acceptable standard.
Retail Birmingham has sponsored retail themed wicker floral features within the Birmingham City Centre Floral trail during the Summer months. The features area situated at Bullring, High Street and The Mailbox, to enhance the street scene through the important summer period. The investment has helped the Floral Trail regularly win gold in the Britain In Bloom awards generating significant visitor interest and press coverage for the city centre.
Retail Birmingham continues to invest in floral features for the retail area, making the city centre a pleasant and welcoming place for visitors.
Pavement Deep Cleansing
The Local Authority does not undertake deep cleansing and chewing gum removal from retail streets as part of its statutory obligations. Retail Birmingham has undertaken this work on behalf of its members ensuring the streets remain a pleasant place to be and will continue to manage the cleaning programme throughout 2017.
A prominent piece of public art underwent extensive conservation as part of a project to improve the flourishing John Bright Street area of Birmingham city centre. The sculpture by artist Lee Grandjean, called ‘Birmingham Figure’, is part of the portfolio of public artworks managed by Birmingham Museums Trust.
Retail Birmingham worked with the Museums Trust on the conservation project. Birmingham-based Mareva Conservation, a practice specialising in the conservation of historic buildings, memorials and sculptures, carried out the works.
The BID will continue to work with relevant partners to monitor the condition of public art across the city centre to help maintain it for future generations.