Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter has a new champion who will lead efforts to improve the area, attract investment and jobs. The Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT) has appointed an operations director to deliver the Jewellery Quarter BID (JQ BID) objectives.
Former Birmingham businessman Keith Stanley will act as the day-to-day face of the district and be responsible for delivering projects that make the area cleaner, safer and a better place to work, rest and play. Earlier this year, more than 600 local businesses were asked to vote to support the initiative, which will see companies with premises with a rateable value of £10,000 and above pay an annual levy of 2% to fund additional investment for the benefit of the whole area. The BID received an encouraging 45% turnout of voters, with 80% of those businesses voting ‘yes’, and the first levy payments were collected in September.
It will help to improve the Quarter in many ways, including providing a welcoming environment for visitors, clean and safer streets, improving marketing to increase footfall and inward investment, and improving connectivity to the city centre.
Keith said: “Most people might think it would be easy to spend the levy money, but the trick to a successful BID – and my main priority – is to make sure it is spent wisely. A high majority of businesses in the Jewellery Quarter voted ‘yes’ to the initiative, which shows they care about their local community and support the JQDT’s vision to make the area a better place to work, live, visit and invest.”
Keith, who spent five years as a director at Black Country Chamber and the past two and a half years running a charity in Greets Green, will be supported by a BID Management Committee made up of 15 members from the Jewellery Quarter community, including JQDT members, local councillors, residents and business owners.
“I want levy payers to see the BID money as an investment in their local area, not just an extra expense. Some of the first installment has already been allocated to festive incentives such as Christmas lights and a targeted marketing campaign, in conjunction with Marketing Birmingham, to encourage people to visit the many bars, restaurants, retailers and visitor attractions that the Quarter has to offer.”
Welcoming Keith to his new position, JQDT chairman David Mahony said: “The only future for the Quarter is if we, the Jewellery Quarter community, do it ourselves. So, after a hectic summer gathering the funding and establishing a BID team, it’s now time to see some action. Keith has a wealth of private and public sector knowledge and experience, which will stand him in good stead for this new position. The JQDT board and I are very confident that he and the BID Management Committee will be able to deliver the objectives outlined in the Prospectus and achieve our aim of becoming a cleaner, safer and better connected Quarter.”