Businesses put in a BID for future of Kirkintilloch town centre

Friday, 17 November, 2023

Businesses in Kirkintilloch have voted to work collectively in a BID to boost the town centre.Photo of St Mary's and Barleybank Square

A ballot was held recently to decide whether to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in Kirkintilloch town centre, with the result declared on 10 November 2023 by East Dunbartonshire Council's Chief Executive, Gerry Cornes.

More than 81% of the votes cast were in favour of the proposal and work will now take place, supported by the Council, to ensure the Kirkintilloch BID is established as an operational, not-for-profit, limited liability company.

The goal is to enhance the town centre by providing a dedicated voice for local business issues and a programme of initiatives and events.

Aims include:

  • Making Kirkintilloch a destination for more day, evening and weekend events
  • Greater promotion of the town centre for shopping, services and leisure
  • An enhanced digital presence for local businesses and the community
  • Improving the quality of the public realm, public spaces, shopfronts, signage and environment
  • Reducing vacant units and breathing life into 'stalled spaces', creating business opportunities
  • Greater promotion of local history and heritage
  • Continuing to create an accessible and safe environment for users and businesses
  • Exploring efficiencies for business operating costs
  • Encouraging partnership working with community groups, public sector organisations and other locations – potentially tapping into external funding not available to individual businesses.

A website is currently under development – visit (external link opens in new window) – which will host a range of valuable information, including the business plan and planned business directory.

Kirkintilloch BID's first event is a real cracker – a Christmas Festival at Barleybank Square/car park on Saturday and Sunday 25 and 26 November (10am-5pm). There will be more than 40 craft and gift stalls, a variety of food vendors, funfair (10am-6pm) and free live entertainment (11.30am-4pm) – both days. In addition, Santa, Mrs Claus and the Canal Elves will be welcoming children to the Forth and Clyde Canal Society's floating grotto (noon-4pm) opposite Nonna's Kitchen – also both days. On the Saturday, St Mary’s Parish Church is holding an open day and Kirky Picture Palace takes place at Kirkintilloch Town Hall (hosted by Your Kirky).

Scotland’s improvement districts aim to deliver change, and boost businesses and local economies across the country. Business Improvement Districts are developed, managed and funded by those who are liable to pay Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) in the defined BID area.

Jim Hopkins, Co-Chair of Kirkintilloch BID, said, "I am absolutely delighted that businesses within our BID area have supported the aims and objectives set out within our business plan and in return have voted in favour of the BID.

"By getting involved in the Kirkintilloch BID, we can work together to increase footfall, stimulate investment, enhance the reputation of our town centre and provide a strong, unified voice. The purpose of the Kirkintilloch BID is to support our local businesses, increase town centre trade and improve our business environment."

Members of the Council's Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets (PNCA) Committee approved the BID Business Plan at a meeting in August. The Council will contribute £200,000 over the five-year term of the BID.

Councillor Paul Ferretti, Convener of PNCA, said, "I'm delighted that the Kirkintilloch BID proposal has secured the support of so many local businesses and look forward to seeing the ambitious plans come to fruition.

"Like many town centres, Kirkintilloch has faced a number of challenges in recent years so it's vital that regeneration work is closely aligned with the aims of local businesses. The BID gives local traders, hospitality venues and services a collective voice.

"Working together we will do all we can to ensure Kirkintilloch flourishes and thrives."

The results of the Kirkintilloch BID ballot were:

  • Total number of valid votes cast in the ballot – 76
  • Total number of votes cast in favour of the proposed BID for Kirkintilloch – 62 (81.58%)
  • Total number of votes cast against  – 14 (18.42%).

For more information, visit the BID ballot result webpage (link opens in new window).

A BID is a geographically defined area where businesses come together and agree to invest collectively in projects and services they believe will improve their trading environment.

BID projects are new and additional projects and services – they do not replace services already provided by the Council and other statutory bodies.

The Kirkintilloch BID area covers:

  • Donaldson Street
  • Industry Street
  • Townhead
  • Freeland Place
  • Southbank Road
  • Alexandra Street
  • Catherine Street
  • Kerr Street
  • Cowgate
  • David Donnelly Place
  • Union Street
  • West High Street

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