INNOVATIVE lighting schemes, repainting the city’s street furniture, a boost for the night-time economy and a host of new events are among the early highlights of the Bradford Business Improvement District’s plans for its second year.

An outline of how some of the BID’s almost half-a-million-pound funding will be spent in 2020 was presented to levy-payers at its annual meeting at the Midland Hotel yesterday.

Presenting the BID’s annual report for its first year, chairman Ian Ward, general manager of The Broadway shopping centre, told the audience that the BID was only just getting started.

“We’ve got off the ground well in our first year and we’ve shown that we can deliver on our promises and start to make things happen,” said Mr Ward. “But, realistically, all we’ve done is set a standard to beat in the next four years of our first term – and we plan to get better year on year."

BID manager Jonny Noble set out some of the early plans for the year ahead which will continue to fall under the organisation’s “four pillars of success” – Clean, Safe, Alive and Promoted.

“We’ve learned a lot in our first year and we’re going to carry all that experience into 2020 and make sure we do even better,” said Mr Noble. “There’s a huge amount we want to achieve but we can only do so much and we need to pace ourselves, remember this is a five-year term and only set out to do what we know we can deliver.

“But, at the same time, we have some great projects on the way and we’re always looking for new ideas and ways we can use the income from the BID levy to maximum effect.”

Under the Clean pillar, the city will see a continuation of the well-received hot washing and chewing gum removal programme, with regular deep cleans or problem areas and a new initiative aimed at tackling the dropping of gum on city centre thoroughfares and precincts.

The BID will start to clean and paint or stain street furniture to smarten up high-footfall public areas and it will work with Bradford Council to ensure cleansing standards are improved and new initiatives explored.

There will be more Make A Difference (MAD) Days, in Little Germany and the “top of the town” area, following the successful pilot outside the University and College, when dozens of students turned out to help clean the area and plant hundreds of flower bulbs.

Under Safe projects, the BID plans to appoint a team of city centre “ambassadors” to welcome and guide visitors and a “night-time economy co-ordinator” to help develop the city centre’s attractiveness after office hours and deliver the Best Bar None initiative, a national award scheme for licensed premises which rewards pubs, bars and nightclubs that provide good management, a safe and enjoyable environment for customers, discourage binge drinking and work to prevent alcohol-related crime.

There will also be more new additional lighting schemes and support for outreach agencies, such as the Bradford Homeless Outreach Partnership (HOP).

The Alive pillar will see the return of some events started in 2019, such as the Mini-Mardi Gras and the Food & Drink Festival, more Halloween fun and a brighter and more exciting approach to Christmas festivities.

Plans are also underway to try to bring the highly popular Soapbox Challenge races to the city streets and the BID is working with Bradford Cathedral on a fun Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race event in Centenary Square.

The fourth pillar, Promoted, will see more support for events such as the Bradford Sports Awards, the Bradford Means Business Awards and the Retail, Leisure & Hospitality Awards and the BID will also be involved with the Bradford Literature Festival and Bradford Science Festival.

New initiatives include a new Visitor Guide to Bradford, a Freshers Week project, backing for Bradford Pride and support for a new Fringe Festival.

Mr Ward said: “Throughout everything we do, we will have an eye to supporting Bradford’s drive to become City of Culture 2025.

“We’re fully behind the #Bradford2025 bid; it’s a fantastic window of opportunity to bring new life and new investment into Bradford and the BID has a big role to play in ensuring that the city centre is at its best as we move towards it.”