An update on the BIDs for Galashiels Project.
Now that we have come to the close of the BID for Galashiels project, we wanted to take the opportunity to update everyone on the state of play, and to thank you for the feedback and support you gave to the project.
As you will be aware, due to circumstances out with everyone’s control, the BID was unsuccessful at this time as we were unable to reach the percentage of votes required on the rateable value element. To put this into context, we received:
- 147 votes were cast with 105 supporting the project and 42 opposing. The result gave a clear indication of the desire for a BIDs within Gala town centre.
- The rateable value of those supporting amounted to £1,823,450 whilst those opposing equated to £2,891,150. The BID was unsuccessful on the rateable value vote.
However, within minutes of the results having been circulated, David McMunn, Manager of Tesco Stores Limited Galashiels, questioned the result, reporting that Tesco, with their R.V. of £1,746,000, had submitted a YES vote. A vote that was clearly not reflected in the published result.
Ian Hayes Tesco Stores Ltd BIDs Manager said: “Tesco Stores Ltd is the UK’s largest BID area contributor currently supporting BIDs organisations in over 125 local authority areas. Following a full review of the Galashiels BIDs business proposal plan, against the Tesco national BIDs criteria, Tesco was in favour of the Galashiels BID plan being adopted.” It is not clear where this ballot paper went astray.
It goes without saying, all those involved were bitterly disappointed by the situation; with a 79% yes vote there is clearly a real desire amongst the business community to take positive action to benefit Galashiels. This was mirrored within the draft business plan consultation, when the majority of businesses agreed that action has to be taken to improve the town.
So, what next?
All is not lost. Energise Galashiels Trust, working in partnership with a variety of partners, including BIDs for Gala and Scottish Borders Council, have launched an initiative called Tomorrow’s Gala.
Taking aspects of the BID business plan, which are considered most appropriate in terms of achieving greatest impact in the short-term, a revised action plan has been drafted.
The key aim is to improve the appearance and vitality of the town centre during 2019, making Gala town centre a welcoming visitor destination by 2020.
Key impact projects, which will complement the significant investment in the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre, and other town centre infrastructure projects being delivered by Scottish Borders Council, will include:
- Bringing more events to Galashiels (similar to Gala Goes Extreme)
- Developing a brand and web site to promote Galashiels as a visitor destination
- Improving the look and feel of the town centre
- Developing the visitor experience to the Great Tapestry of Scotland, and other local attractions.
Obviously, this plan requires funding. Working in conjunction with Scottish Borders Council, Energise Galashiels Trust have submitted an application to the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP) to support delivery of the action plan for 2019. If we are successful with this funding application, we anticipate having a similar amount of funding that the Gala BID would have provided for 2019.
We know that finance alone is not all that is required to deliver this plan. As part of the partnership, several local business-owners have come forward prepared to volunteer their time to helpdeliver a series of events, marketing initiatives and business development activities, for the benefit of the town. This new group will be structured as an Enterprise Team operating within Energise Galashiels Trust, which has charitable status and is a registered SCIO.
If you’d like to support Tomorrow’s Gala by making a financial donation, click here.
Alternatively, if you’d like to find out more about how you can support in other ways, please email us at email@example.com