A five-year action plan to improve the businesses district in Glasgow’s West End could be crucial for the city’s post-COVID recovery.

Following a four-month consultation process, where more than 200 businesses on Byres Road and Lanes were invited to share their views on what could be done to benefit the area, the 2020-2025 business plan was created.

A postal ballot was held after the Business Improvement District (BID) submitted its ideas to members earlier this year with the successful ballot result announced by the deputy returning officer at Glasgow City Council recently.

The most common themes included the availability of parking, ensuring City Deal improvements minimise business disruption and working with the council to make sure quality and streetscape proposals are delivered.

Members want to encourage new businesses into vacant spaces and provide a unified voice for all businesses and other organisations.

The area which will benefit from the scheme runs from the top of Byres Road down to the corner of Chancellor Street, Ruthven Lane and Mews Arcade, Cresswell Lane and De Courcy’s Arcade, and the Byres Road ends of Vinicombe, Cresswell & Great George Streets.

Glasgow Times: Byres RoadByres Road

BID chairman and local businessman, John Turner, said: “We appreciate that the results of the ballot were very close, and I can assure you that we will take this into account in all that we plan to do, especially as the crisis situation eases and we plan on how to support our member businesses as things return to normal, whenever that might be.

“In the meantime, our dedicated office team will be continuing their work in providing advice, support and information to our business members to help them get through these extraordinary and difficult times.”

The ballot comes on the back of a £1 million fund announced by the cabinet secretary for communities and local government for BIDs to support local businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

BIDS are a collaborative business improvement model whereby local businesses come together to invest in joint projects and initiatives aimed at improving the local economy and community for the benefit of all.

Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Programme Director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, Phil Prentice, added: “With nearly forty Business Improvement Districts across Scotland, they are a crucial part of Scotland’s economic infrastructure and they will be a hugely important asset to the recovery of our towns and cities when we emerge from this crisis.

“BIDs bring businesses together to develop innovative solutions to challenges facing the local economy and come up with new ideas to drive local economic activity for the benefit of everyone.

“I want to congratulate the Byres Road and Lanes BID in putting together a visionary Business Plan for the coming five years, and I know they are working tirelessly to support local businesses through this challenging time.”