James Sunderland MP

Bracknell MP praises work of Business Improvement District

The MP for Bracknell James Sunderland has praised the work of the Bracknell Business Improvement District (BID) as it supports economic growth following the pandemic.

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The BID – which is funded by local businesses to deliver initiatives and projects – officially launched on 1 April 2020 amid the first Covid lockdown following a successful ballot by businesses in the Bracknell Southern and Western Business areas.

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Despite the challenging landscape, Bracknell BID has provided valuable guidance and support to businesses during the Covid pandemic, started to raise the profile of the area as a great place for business, installed publicly accessible defibrillators, improved pathways and cycle ways, secured dedicated PCSOs for the area supporting them with patrol bases and bicycles, and lots more.

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As restrictions are now easing, the Government has stressed the vital role that BIDs across the country can play in supporting the economic recovery, and Bracknell MP James Sunderland is encouraging more collaboration to help kickstart further growth.

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James said: “Bracknell BID has already demonstrated its effectiveness in bringing businesses together over last year starting as it did, at the beginning of the pandemic. It is an important entity in supporting economic recovery of businesses in the Bracknell Forest Southern and Western Business areas and its desire to collaborate with the Bracknell Forest Council should be embraced.

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“It is so important at a time when all resources are stretched that there is collaboration between all local organisations in both the public and private sector, to ensure that we will achieve faster economic growth and improvements for the benefit of Bracknell and the wider business community.”

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The Government provided BIDs with emergency funding last year when it acknowledged the crucial role they are playing during these challenging economic times, offering hands-on support to those businesses affected, including advice services, and providing key intelligence to local and central government on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their local economies.

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BIDs are also identified as key delivery partners by the Government in funding streams made available to local authorities, such as the ‘Welcome Back Fund’, where it encourages councils to collaborate with BIDs and use them as a means of supporting their efforts to protect jobs and businesses in their local areas.

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Maria Sabey, Chair of the Bracknell BID, said: “It is great to have support from James at a time when we are doing what we can to make a difference to the thousands of people who work in the area and the 330 businesses we represent.

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“The Government is very keen for BIDs to play a key role in boosting investment in towns and business areas and by working together in collaboration with the local authority we can achieve much more collectively for the benefit of our businesses and employees.”

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Since emerging from lockdown, Bracknell BID has been focused on delivering outcomes based on feedback from the 330 business in the Southern and Western areas, including:

  • Improving safety and access for pedestrians and cyclists using the area
  • Developing pocket parks for people to use as outdoor spaces for work and relaxation
  • Solutions to ease traffic congestion and improve traffic management around the BID area
  • Improving signage and lighting
  • Improving the digital and IT infrastructure to meet the needs of the business community.

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There are over 310 BIDs across the country.

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The Bracknell BID is scheduled to run until March 2025 and aims to deliver infrastructure improvements and increased business growth and investment to the Southern and Western Business Areas.

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For further information about the Bracknell BID follow us on @BracknellBID on social media.

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