Sheffield Bid reveals new ideas to improve city centre economy in 2018

The Sheffield Bid-funded street rangers have been a success.
The Sheffield Bid-funded street rangers have been a success.
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A gift card and an app for residents and visitors are among the new ideas put forward to enhance Sheffield city centre.

Members of Sheffield Business Improvement District, known as Bid, gathered for their annual general meeting at The Light cinema today.

The group, which uses a levy from members to make positive changes to the city centre, is coming up to its third of five years in operation.

Manager Diane Jarvis highlighted successes so far, including increased city centre footfall - particularly after 5pm - and cleaner and safer streets.

But she also promised more action to help city centre businesses in the coming year.

"A lot has happened over the last 12 months. But we are committed to delivering change together in partnership with business," she said.

Sheffield Bid manager Diane Jarvis.

Sheffield Bid manager Diane Jarvis.

One of the ideas that will be launched soon is a city centre gift card. Money can be loaded onto it in a similar way to store cards, but people will be able to use theirs in any Sheffield city centre business signed up tot the scheme.

"It's about locking spend into the local economy," Ms Jarvis said. "We've got a lot of business signing up and hope to be in a position to launch before Christmas."

Also coming soon will be a city centre app that uses 'beacon' technology to alert users to events and special offers when they pass a particular location.

"That hasn't been done in Sheffield before, so it will be quite an innovative project," said Ms Jarvis.

Businesses have opened their toilets to the public thanks to the Bid.

Businesses have opened their toilets to the public thanks to the Bid.

Other proposals are a team of night marshals and a body-camera trial to deal with rough sleepers, antisocial behaviour and other issues, and an online 'dashboard' where Bid members can access and share real-time information about the city centre.

The group also plans to improve successful events and initiatives such as the Dine Sheffield restaurant week and the This Is Sheffield guidebook, which will have a Christmas version soon.

And members voted to change the Bid constitution to allow the budget for making the city centre cleaner to be increased from £45,000 to £100,000.

In two years Bid has removed 35,000 square feet of graffiti.

Style Sheffield fashion week was a new event organised by the Bid.

Style Sheffield fashion week was a new event organised by the Bid.

The meeting also heard from new board member Kane Yeardley, who founded True North Brew Co.

His team was tasked with looking at ideas other cities were using to boost their night-time economy.

Among the initial suggestions were lighting installations and public art, a focus on museums and non-alcoholic events, and making Sheffield a destination for a night out.

And South Yorkshire Police shared their plans to tackle street drinking, begging and antisocial behaviour through multi-agency operations.

Kane Yeardley, of True North Brew Co, is a new board member.

Kane Yeardley, of True North Brew Co, is a new board member.