2020 and getting prepared for 2021: a message from the Rochdale Business Improvement District

Date published: 29 December 2020

Throughout 2020, the Rochdale Business Improvement District has sought to support all town centre businesses through these difficult times and will continue into 2021.

Paul Ambrose, manager of Rochdale Business Improvement District (BID) writes:

It goes without saying that this year has been challenging for everyone, and the BID has sought to support by sharing useful information and guidance, assist with grant applications and let everyone know the good news stories that have come from our amazing town centre businesses.

How businesses have diversified, linked up with other businesses and gone the extra mile to support staff and residents of Rochdale, especially our vulnerable, has been inspirational. Yet despite everything, we still have new businesses opening up and wanting to move into the town centre, which re-assures me that Rochdale is seen as a place to be, with a strong business community and that the BID will continue to support in any way we can.

As we move into 2021 we will continue to help ensure a co-ordinated local response to the Covid-19 recovery and transformational process, supporting business needs now and adapting our projects and activities to best support business going forward.

We are dedicated to following through on the plans which we’ve already started delivering during the past ten months, to support the Covid-19 recovery and transformational processes.


Town Centre Rangers, Lynsey White and John Cooke
Town Centre Rangers, Lynsey White and John Cooke


Since lockdown, the BID has increased business support and activity by:

  • Individual contact to levy paying businesses to understand concerns and explain the details of what support is available to them.
  • Held daily calls between with the council and other key town centre stakeholders to ensure businesses got the support they needed.
  • Developed a new Covid-19 website section as a trusted source of information on business support, public health, safety and government guidance, available via rochdalebid.co.uk
  • Daily posting on the BIDs social media channels to keep businesses and consumers in the know. 
  • Continue to develop free virtual tours as part of Rochdale360.co.uk. These immersive, virtual experiences inspire greater confidence among prospective shoppers and visitors. 
  • To support business for reopening, the BID produced a pack of assets that allowed businesses to put physical distances measures in place, in order to open safely. The BID also prepared several promotional videos to highlight the town was reopening safely.
  • To support town centre businesses through the recovery stage the BID partnered with Loyal Free. This free to download app provides free advertising for local businesses to promote their offers and events, with the option to run a ‘loyalty stamp’ scheme, feature in local shopping trails and sell products or vouchers online through a no-commission marketplace.
  • Launched the Food and Artisan Fayre at Rochdale Riverside.
  • Launched a Love Christmas Campaign to promote the amazing mix of national and unrepentant retailers and businesses.
  • Lobbying locally, regionally and nationally. Business ideas, concerns are being shared directly with those who are making decisions about reopening and recovery – and it is making a difference.
  • Promoted businesses that were able to stay open during the lockdowns and businesses that have reopened.
  • Planning for the future by creating a Rochdale Town Centre Recovery Plan. The overall aim of the recovery plan is to support businesses and to drive the economic recovery of the town centre.
  • The BID Rangers have been working six days a week. They’re the eyes and ears of the town centre, helping people find what they’re looking for and creating a sense of safety, solidarity and positivity. As well as helping, guiding and reassuring visitors, the rangers keep an eye out for any low-level anti-social behaviour, liaising with the police and the council.

We are committed to support the resilience, innovation and duty of care of our town centre payers, in the toughest of circumstances. As we move through the Covid-19 transformational stage, we are ready to play a central role in encouraging locals and visitors to enjoy our town in a safe and welcoming way.

The BID team look forward to sharing with you in the new year our plans for 2021.

Take care from all of us at the BID team.

-  Paul Ambrose, Rochdale BID Manager


Paul Ambrose, BID Manager, left with PCSO Nick McNeill
Paul Ambrose, BID Manager, left with PCSO Nick McNeill at a BID event in 2019


Rochdale Business Improvement District (BID) started in April 2019 after a successful ballot of the businesses in a specified area of Rochdale Town Centre. This business-led partnership delivers additional services and projects: throughout 2020, it has sought to support all town centre businesses through these difficult times. 

BIDs directly involve local businesses in local activities and allow the business community and local authority to work together with other local stakeholders to improve the local environment. There are now over 300 BIDs established and operating across the UK and they are growing at a pace of 25 a year. 

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