Inverness Business Improvement District - Director

About Inverness BID

Inverness BID is now in its 4th  5 year term, having been launched in 2008 and as such is one of Scotland’s longest standing BIDs. Over 700 businesses are represented in the BID area and the BID levy – calculated by rateable value – contributes over £200,000 annually to the BID investment fund. In addition, specific project funding is sourced from public and private sector agencies, notably the Inverness Common Good Fund administered by the Highland Council.

The BID Board is elected by the businesses and Directors are representative of the main business categories of retail, hospitality, offices and property owners. The Inverness City Leader, the Provost of Inverness, also sits on the Board, underlining the strong relationship between BID and the Highland Council. The Board meets monthly. Day to day operations are run by the Director, supported by a team based in the city centre BID offices.

In the BID 5 year Business Plan 2018-23 (Business Plan 2018-23), the  Mission Statement  sets out a vision to actively support the City – and the businesses in the city centre:

To deliver a series of projects and services to improve the trading environment of Inverness City Centre to the benefit of the City Centre economy, the levy paying businesses, their customers, clients and visitors.”

The Business Plan contains the following core themes:

  • Marketing the City Centre
  • Enhancing the City Centre
  • Engaging and Championing the City Centre
  • Safe and Welcoming City Centre

To enact the core themes and underpin the Business Plan, BID undertakes a series of projects and activities through the operational plan with recent examples including:

  • Marketing of the City Centre
    • Bounceback Campaign – during 2021, in response to the COVID pandemic, BID co-ordinated the 13 week Bounceback Campaign in the Inverness Courier aimed at promoting the City Centre businesses and encouraging the public to return
    • “Welcome Back Campaign” with Moray Firth Radio, promoting the City Centre businesses in the lead up to reopening from lockdown:
      • a comprehensive Staycation Marketing Campaign with MFR and its affiliates covering the Highlands & Moray, Perth & Dundee and Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire
    • Working with Visit Inverness Loch Ness on joint marketing campaigns to attract visitors and business events to the area, including a number of promotional videos
    • BID’s extensive social media marketing of the individual city centre businesses and the City Centre as a whole.
  • Coach Friendly Welcome Facility – In 2015 BID, in partnership with the Highland Council designated Ardross Street as an official pick up/drop off point for coaches by applying for recognition by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) and was awarded “Coach Friendly Status” in 2016. In the summer of 2019 this facility attracted 3000 coaches, generating footfall of over 135,000 additional visitors into the City Centre.
  • Floral Decorations – BID organises the 600 plus floral displays in and around the City Centre for the summer season.
  • BID Task Team – 2 person trained team patrolling on the streets during the Christmas, Easter, Autumn and Summer holiday periods.

BID fulfils a strategic influencing role on behalf of the City Centre businesses. Whilst larger organisations may have the national or multi-national strength to have their individual voices heard, this is not always the case for the smaller and medium sized businesses, particularly the City’s independent traders. The team frequently receive positive feedback on how BID has offered an influential voice in some of the major strategic developments, especially from smaller businesses.

To illustrate this role, BID represents the interests of City Centre businesses at numerous forums including:

  • City Centre Masterplan
  • Station Masterplan
  • Inverness Castle Project Board
  • Victorian Market Stakeholder Group
  • Academy Street Heritage Lottery Project
  • Inverness Community Safety Partnership
  • Highland Council Events & Festivals Committee
  • Operation Respect City Centre
  • Pubwatch
  • Safeinverness
  • Safer Streets Schemes

The BID Board believes national influence is also important to continue to put Inverness City Centre on the map.  We are core members of the Scottish city BIDs group (Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow West End) and participate in the Scottish Towns Partnership.

More information can be found below:

‘See you Soon’ video.