The Head of Business presented the above report details of which had been
previously circulated to Members. The purpose of the report was to update
Members on the Mid-Term Review of the Strabane Business Improvement
District and seek approval on elements requiring Council intervention.
Councillor McLaughlin referred to the establishment of the BID Company in
2016 and the time-period that had lapsed without any evidence of progress
which in her opinion was primarily due to no Town Centre BID Manager in
post to drive forward the BID Programme key recommendations endorsed by
the Board as outlined within the report. She therefore supported
wholeheartedly the appointment of a Manager and urged that the recruitment
process be accelerated so that a physical presence was on the ground to
communicate and engage with the retailers as a matter of urgency.
Councillor R Barr endorsed the previous speaker’s comments and supported
the appointment of a BID Manager.
Councillor Kelly commented that whilst there seemed to be a lack of focus
with the delivery of the programme he had to acknowledge the work that had
been achieved by Officers. He also hoped that the out workings of the review
would not have a consequential effect on the rate payer. He agreed that it
was imperative that a BID Manager was appointed as soon as possible and
queried the anticipated timeframe.
The Head of Business in response to Members referred to the outcome of the
review and the recommendation to recruit additional Directors to the BID
Company; he clarified that over recent weeks 3 new Board Members were
appointed, one of which was the Managing Director of O’Neills Sportswear.
He said that the appointment would provide much needed strategic direction
and value to the progression of the BID Business Plan in going forward. He
also clarified that in relation to the recruitment time line for the BID Manager,
that following endorsement of the recommendation by Full Council on 26
September 2019, the post would be advertised and hopefully the selection
process completed by November 2019 and appointment made by January
Recommended that Council endorse the contents of the report and approve the recruitment of a Town Centre BID Manager on a fixed term basis up to November 2021 with the potential for extension subject to the successful
balloting of a second BID mandate.