Sligo Business & District
In 2013 Sligo Borough Council in partnership with Sligo County Council and other local authorities in Northern Ireland & Scotland were successful in securing funding through the European’s Regional Development Fund’s INTERREG IVA Programme for a Business Improvement District Scheme (BIDS) project.
BIDS is is a widely known concept internationally and the Republic of Ireland currently has 3 BIDS – in Dublin, Dundalk and Dun Laoghaire. There are over 150 in the UK with one being established by one of Sligo’s Northern Ireland partners.
In September 2013 a Town Centre Coordinator was appointed to progress the BIDS project. This appointment was integral in identifying the city’s strengths and weaknesses and to carry out evaluations and actions against a defined criteria. One of the unique aspects of BIDS is that it is business led with an emphasis on working closely with the local authority in building relationships and working in cooperation.
While the funding was secured by the local authority it is vital to the success of the project that the decisions and activities are led by the local business community. Sample projects include:
- Development of website, portal and a mobile application using the domain sligo.ie
- A comprehensive free listing for every business, each business will have a unique user name and password for updating their own profile. This to be fully operational prior to the 2014 Fleadh.
- Identifying pilot projects on town performance.
- Application for the ‘Purple Flag Award’ – an accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of town & city centrews at night.
- User & business surveys and footfall indicators.
- Business and Communications plan for Sligo.
- Host a visioning workshop with local businesses – what is Sligo, how is Sligo performing and define goals and ambitions for Sligo.
- Form a partnership in Sligo representing the business community and key stakeholders in Sligo that will determine future activity.
This project is unique to Sligo and the only project of its type in the Republic of Ireland. The project partners are Ballymena, Larne, Ayr and Colraine.