Danish business leaders get advice on setting up business improvement district from Northampton industrial estate

The delegation of Danish city planners, developers and business leaders during the visit to Brackmills
The delegation of Danish city planners, developers and business leaders during the visit to Brackmills
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An international delegation of Danish city planners, developers and business leaders flew into the UK to visit Northampton’s Brackmills Business Improvement District (BID) this month.

The aim of the trip was to find out more about the benefits of a Business Improvement District (BID).

Current legislation in Denmark does not allow for BIDs, but Realdania, a private association in the country which supports philanthropic architecture and planning projects, is working with Local Government Denmark (LGDK) and pressing government to amend the legislation necessary for BIDs to be piloted in Denmark.

Ole Bach, from Realdania, who organised the visit to Brackmills for his 25 Danish delegates, said: “Our ambition is to improve the quality of life for people living in Denmark so we invited this delegation, including people from eight different municipalities and business people from five private companies, to better understand BIDs. We leave Northampton knowing how that a BID can truly change and improve quality of lives and are keen to emulate some of your successes.”

Sara Homer, executive chair of Brackmills BID, said: “Our Danish guests were keen to know all about our status as a BID, how we now work together for the good of the estate and why resident businesses choose to stay and move to Brackmills, choose to invest, recruit and expand here. Many businesses would have left Brackmills if we hadn’t become a Business Improvement District back in 2009 and transformed this previously crime ridden estate into the thriving community it now is. The Danish delegation was fascinated to see our transformation.”

Ian Ferguson, from pfbb UK, the management company behind many of the UK’s most successful BIDs, helped organise the Danish visit, said: “We were really pleased to be able to offer an insight into the way business collaboration can transform and area and provide valuable economic benefit. BIDs are not just about pooling a levy, they are about creating a corporate community where businesses work together for a tangible economic benefit that all can benefit from.”

Brackmills Industrial Estate Business secured other national attention this year, when it was ‘highly commended’ in The Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) National Awards.