Why Did We Launch RTC Property Search?
We started 2020, the BIDs second year, full of optimism and hope, delivering a strong series of winter events and activities which helped many businesses at this critical trading time. As we all know, the world and the UK High Street then changed beyond recognition towards the end of March 2020 as we moved into uncharted waters with a national lockdown and the need to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic.
We now know that over the next few months restrictions will slowly be lifted which will enable businesses to open and visitors to return. The BID Team is working hard to ensure businesses get as much support as they can and we are currently planning a series of events and projects which will boost footfall, support businesses and help to change the perception of the town centre.
One such project is the launch of a dedicated website to showcase vacant town centre properties. As you can imagine there’s a number of vacant commercial spaces in the town centre and no one really knows what effect COVID will have on the remaining businesses, equally there have been a lot of businesses started at home and we’re hoping we may see some of these flourish and require space in the town centre.
What recently became apparent is that there’s no tool to help people find available town centre commercial premises that we can promote, so we’ve decided to build one. Think of it is a hyper-local version of Rightmove but specifically aimed helping landlords and agents sell and let their commercial real estate.
This new service is paid for by the BID and if any agents or landlords are interested in this free service all we need are the details of the vacant property and we’ll provide photos, floorplans and a Matterport 3D tour to complete the listing. Landlords and agents will get access to all these assets for their website in order to help sell/let the space as they normally would, it’s just that our new website will help promote all vacant spaces within the town centre and include all properties from a variety of agents. We are not proposing to field any enquiries, we will only be enhancing the listing and we hope this service reduces the number of vacancies in the town centre.
Finally, despite all this challenges we have faced this year it has been amazing to see the strength of the town centre business community shine through. Now, more than ever, we must work collectively, to listen, to respond and to act. We will continue to strengthen relations with our partners to accelerate the vision for the town centre to be a community hub designed around health, education, culture, housing, leisure, arts and crafts, along with retail.