Tuesday 23rd July 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

YCBID: A Compendium of Famous ‘Fails’

YCBID: A Compendium of Famous ‘Fails’

A Letter to the Editor from regular correspondent WILLIAM PARKIN, who has made his own careful study of the performance of the Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID) Ltd., as compared to an extravagant list of claimed achievements and promises, offers his personal opinion which will resonate, no doubt, with business proprietors up and down the coast – perhaps the whole country?

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Dear Editor

YORKSHIRE COAST BID LIMITED

As part of another initiative, I have looked at what the BID says it will do in of their  £100,000+ researched and printed Business Plan in which it states they will be doing the following.

Perhaps Mr Rowe-Evans or Ms Caruthers can add what they have done as I am at a loss in finding out their successes. At first glance, even their web-site is black when you first log on – just as though it has died!

Yours faithfully,

William Parkin

Staithes


Within the above mentioned Business Plan, as paid for by Levy Payers, we find:

On PAGE 15

THE BID WILL:

• Work with partners to promote the entire Yorkshire Coast, exploring different marketing channels both nationally and internationally

They are promoting the area locally and I suppose the odd article that may have appeared in the papers could be classed as National.

No evidence seen of international coverage.

• Research and work with partners to deliver itineraries aimed at promoting nature tourism in key off peak times of the year

No evidence seen of Nature Tourism at any time of the year. Fibreglass Puffins do not count as ‘nature’.

• Work with cultural based businesses to develop a new 1 – 2 week festival to encourage new visitors to the Yorkshire Coast to experience the history and arts within each town and village

A Festival has not been seen. A few 1 day events have, but with little Capital on Return seen. Results never published.

• Work with existing sport clubs along the Yorkshire Coast to create a new 1-2 week festival to encourage new visitors to the Yorkshire Coast linked to accommodation providers to promote 5-7 day stays

Nothing seen.

• Work with businesses to develop new experiences for visitors, working towards turning day-trippers to extended stays

Nothing seen. Race the waves brought some day tripper, but few stayed. If the ‘Brid Bus’ was a success, it would surely have been repeated.

Research a Yorkshire Coast passport where businesses can be part of an experience-based package

Research is there to be shared. Meanwhile, nothing seen.



On PAGE 16

THE BID WILL:

• Invest in making key access points to the Yorkshire Coast towns and villages look vibrant and welcoming

No evidence seen.

• Work with partners to enhance the look of highstreets that have suffered with increasing empty retail units

No evidence seen.

• Work with partners to develop a Yorkshire Coast business ambassador training scheme so that every business has the opportunity to become an ambassador for their area and be the new tourist information point

Not seen.

• Develop a Yorkshire Coast Welcome Team to be used for key events and times of year to enhance the visitors experience, with people trained to promote the different attractions within the area

No evidence seen.

A few people employed in Scarborough a few years ago.



On PAGE 17

THE BID WILL:

• Work with businesses and partners to work towards coastal excellence to achieve plastic free and blue flag beaches throughout the entire area

The water refill scheme was ridiculous, asking businesses whose livelihood is supplying refreshment to provide free drinks.

• Work with partners to run environmental awareness campaigns

Who, when and where? Nothing seen.

• Work with businesses and partners to improve green infrastructure points along the Coast

No evidence seen.

• Work with partners to research solutions for parking and congestion in key areas and where suitable seek to negotiate parking discounts and lobby for improvements

No evidence seen. One of the Director’s Company was paid a subsidy to run the Park and Ride Scheme in Bridlington. Neither Council is offering Parking Discounts.



On PAGE 18

THE BID WILL:

 • Work to reduce business costs through collective buying in areas such as trade waste, recycling, insurance, utilities and professional services

A third party company, Meercats, was paid a large sum of money to provide a service on Electricity and Gas that could have been provided by a locally based company. Money not spent in the area. I am told that names and phone numbers were passed over without thought for GDPR.

Otherwise, nothing else seen for trade waste, recycling, insurance and professional services.

• Work with partners and businesses to lobby local authorities and public sector organisations to robustly represent the views of businesses in the BID area

On the basis that most people DO NOT WANT THE BID, they do not robustly represent the views of businesses in the BID area.

• Communicate to all BID businesses area specific and coastal wide strategies, create and facilitate opportunities for businesses to provide feedback on projects and help to develop new opportunities

They communicate to some businesses, but I have never seen them ask for feedback.

• Secure additional investment to maximise the BID’s ability to demonstrate added value and creation of new projects

I have no idea of what additional funds have been generated by the BID and I look forward to them showing how they have added value. New Projects have been created but whether they are ‘Value for Money’ or create a good return on capital invested is not known and has yet to be seen.

• Investigate a reward/discount scheme for employees and users across the Yorkshire Coast

Nothing seen, but this does exist and has been implemented elsewhere.

• Provide businesses with assistance on securing additional funding for their own business to develop

Nothing seen, but this does exist and has been implemented elsewhere.

• Work with partners to deliver training solutions specific to sector and business need

Nothing seen, but this does exist and has been implemented elsewhere.



On PAGE 21 (for Whitby)

• Work with partners to ensure that all BID marketing activities take place out of season to enable Whitby businesses to benefit from additional footfall

Whitby is the last place that needs additional footfall is Whitby, even in the depths of winter. Even so, nothing seen.

• Ensure that BID businesses are aware of how to access up to date information about up and coming events in Whitby and along the coast to share with guests and customers

Nothing seen.

• Look to support existing event organisers in Whitby to improve and grow current annual events

The Whitby Krampus Run has had a lot of funds injected so people can dress up. They seem to have alienated the shop-keepers. Especially on the East side.

• Work in partnership to improve and upgrade public recycling and waste facilities in the town centre and seafront

Nothing seen.

• Work with partners to increase visitor use of public transport in Whitby through clearer and more accessible information about local services and routes

Nothing seen.

• Work with partners to research and trial an expansion of the Park and Ride to develop a better late night and out of season service in Whitby

Nothing seen.

• Work with partners to research and lobby for delivery of new parking solutions in the area to reduce congestion in and around the town

Nothing seen.

• Work with local artists to create eye catching and unique visitor signage which successfully guides visitors around Whitby

Nothing seen.

• Work with partners to identify ways of managing large visitor groups and antisocial behaviour, promoting a safe and welcoming environment within Whitby town Centre

Nothing seen.

 



On PAGE 22 (for Scarborough)

THE BID WILL:

• Work with partners to diversify visitor experience packages which will add value to and extend each visitor’s stay

Nothing seen.

• Ensure that BID businesses are aware of how to access up to date information about up and coming events in Scarborough and along the coast to share with guests and customers

Nothing seen – but in any case, already exists.

• Work with partners to develop the early-evening economy by creating new experiences as well as open-air entertainment, aimed at encouraging visitors and people leaving work to spend more of their leisure time in Scarborough town centre

Nothing seen.

• Explore opportunities for a collective pop up scheme to provide flexible and temporary retail space to creative professionals and entrepreneurs, as part of a wider strategy to create a more bespoke retail offer on the high street

Nothing seen.

• Run promotional campaigns that highlight the different districts within the resort: Cultural Quarter, Retail District, Old Town, Seafront

• Work with partners to deliver enhanced top-up street cleaning programs in Scarborough at peak times of the year and upgrade facilities on the seafront for beach-goers in Scarborough, as well as for participants in water sports with specific visitor needs

Nothing seen.

• Improve visitor information at key access points in Scarborough, i.e. railway station, to clearly highlight what to do and see in and around the town

Nothing seen.

• Work with partners to brighten and animate the public realm to give visitors and residents a reason to come into the centre and support their local businesses

Nothing seen.

• Work with businesses to develop a new signature event for the town • Investigate and look to secure additional funding to light up key landmarks within the town

Nothing seen, but an 80s-style lazer show was put on. Few knew about it, or came from out of town. 

• Work with partners to identify ways of managing antisocial behaviour, promoting a safe and welcoming environment within Scarborough town centre

Nothing seen.



On PAGE 23 (for Filey)

THE BID WILL:

• Work with businesses to brighten access points to Filey

Nothing seen.

• Ensure that BID businesses are aware of how to access up to date information about up and coming events in Filey and along the coast to share with guests and customers

Nothing seen.

• Work with partners to create outdoor itineraries that embraces its natural surroundings and promotes multiple stays

Nothing seen.

• Work with the community to develop a new or support an existing event that is key to the area

Nothing seen.

• Improve visitor information at key access points in Filey i.e. railway station, to clearly highlight what to do and see in and around the town

Nothing seen.

• Promote Filey’s heritage and look to support projects that would enhance the visitor experience through trails/interpretation boards  

Nothing seen.

• Ensure that BID businesses are aware of how to access up to date information about up and coming events in Filey and along the coast to share with guests and customers

Nothing seen, but already existed.

• Work with partners to create outdoor itineraries that embraces its natural surroundings and promotes multiple stays

Nothing seen, but already existed.

• Work with the community to develop a new or support an existing event that is key to the area

Nothing seen.



On PAGE 24 (for Bridlington)

THE BID WILL:

• Work with businesses in Bridlington to create diverse visitor experience packages, which add value to and extend each visitor’s stay

‘Race the Waves’ was run but pulled people away from the town.

• Ensure that BID businesses are aware of how to access up to date information about up and coming events in Bridlington and along the coast to share with guests and customers

Nothing seen, but it already existed.

• Work in partnership to officially relaunch Bridlington after key regeneration works have been completed

Nothing seen.

• Develop the early-evening economy by creating pop up events, aimed at encouraging visitors and people leaving work to spend more of their leisure time in Bridlington town centre

Nothing seen.

• Work with businesses and partners to create a strong and vibrant identity to attract new visitors, supported by a new annual signature event working with all areas of the town

As above, ‘Race the Waves’ did not benefit the whole town. Nor did the Soapbox push.

• Explore opportunities for a collective pop up scheme to provide flexible and temporary retail space to creative professionals and entrepreneurs, as part of a wider strategy to create a more bespoke retail offer on the high street

Nothing seen.

• Work with local partners to support and grow existing events in Bridlington

Nothing seen.

• Work with partners to research and lobby for delivery of new parking solutions in the centre to increase footfall into the town from residents and visitors

Nothing seen, although a Director’s Bus company did obtain a grant to subsidise buses.

• Work with the local authority to make greater use of digital traffic information boards to promote better usage of parking

Nothing seen.

• Work with partners to identify ways of managing antisocial behaviour, promoting a safe and welcoming environment within Bridlington town centre

Nothing seen.

• Improve visitor information at key access points in Bridlington, i.e. railway station, to clearly highlight what to do and see in and around the town

Nothing seen.



On PAGE 26 (for Withernsea)

I cannot comment for Withernsea as I do not know the town. However, in the Sun article of 3rd February, it is not looking good for that part of the world. It looks like Ms Nendick, a Board Member, has not been able to swing any major favours from the BID.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/21261801/village-miles-beaches-ghost-town/

THE BID WILL:

• Work with businesses and partners in Withernsea and surrounding areas to create diverse visitor experience packages, which add value to and extend each visitor’s stay

• Ensure that BID businesses are aware of how to access up to date information about up-and-coming events in Withernsea and along the coast to share with guests and customers

• Work with partners to create an identity for Withernsea that embraces it natural surroundings and unique historic attractions

• Develop new pop up events, aimed at encouraging visitors and residents to spend more time in the centre of Withernsea

• Work with existing events organisers to add value to current annual events in Withernsea and promote to areas further up the coast line

• Identify and work with businesses to develop new wildlife focused itineraries as part of a larger strategy to promote the area as the southern access point to the Yorkshire Coast

• Work towards securing additional funding to improve the appearance of Withernsea seafront and town centre



On PAGE 27 (Villages)

THE BID WILL:

Give businesses the opportunity to apply for funding of between £1,000 – £10,000 to deliver:

• New events

Non known.

 • Support existing events

The odd few quid has been spent, eg: Robin Hoods Bay.

• Support in bloom activities

No idea which illages run ‘In Bloom’ activities, if any.

• Develop new products and itineraries/experiences for visitors to enjoy

None known.

• Develop initiatives to ensure they are welcoming and appealing The BID Board will consider all applications every quarter and will provide additional support from the BID team to support the delivery of projects.

I am sure they will.



On PAGE 31

…it shows who was involved with setting up the BID.

Apart form those who are being paid and thus have a financial interest, no-one is still involved.

It shows the original people involved with the BID:

  • Clive Rowe-Evans Great Potential (Not a Yorkshire Coast Business and certainly not an actual Levy Payer – maybe a voluntary one?)
  • Victoria Mitchell: The Brunswick Shopping Centre
  • Richard Grunwell: CAVCA
  • Adrian Fusco: Royal Fisheries
  • Christopher Harrison  and Andrew JacksonSolicitors
  • Simon Tudor: Hornsea Freeport
  • David Henderson: IT Specialist
  • Helen Boaden: Stephen Joseph Theatre
  • Mike Wilkinson: Marketing Specialist
  • Sarah Ward: Ingrid Flute’s Holiday Cottages
  • Carl Brown: The Promenade Shopping Centre
  • James Hodgson: The White House Hotel


The BID Team

  • Mo Aswat: Project Director
  • Kerry Carruthers: BID Project Manager
  • Emily Stevenson: BID Project Co-ordinator


herefore, I don’t think I am alone to add comment that:

SBC: has NO CONFIDENCE

EYRC: has NO CONFIDENCE

LEVY PAYERS: have NO CONFIDENCE

And to this we can add that visitors to Withernsea have lost confidence along with many others in the BID coastal catchment area.

Added to this, the Courts are avoiding getting involved, in the hope it will die a death in the meantime, so no decision  need be made.

As far as I’m concerned, one thing for sure is that this useless and failed experiment at our collective expense on the Yorkshire Coast in Supersizing BIDs will not be repeated elsewhere. Amen to that.


 

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