Falmouth BID will continue for another five years after achieving 90% and 87% ‘yes’ results in a recent ballot.

It will be the fourth time the award-winning, not-for-profit business improvement district has been given the agreement of local businesses to operate for them.

The new five-year term will start on April 1, after Falmouth BID secured a 90% ‘yes’ by rateable value and 87% ‘yes’ by number of votes from the town’s business community, representing the strongest mandate since its inception in 2009.

Falmouth BID manager Richard Wilcox said: “We are delighted that the business community has continued to back and support so strongly, the work of the BID and Town Team.

“We know how tough the past few years has been for our business community, so this endorsement serves to strengthen our support efforts.

“There’s no resting on laurels however, as we look to continue our work with the town council and other proactive local organisations, in the delivery of innovative projects and initiatives that continue to position our special coastal town as a must place to visit and invest in.”

Falmouth BID is one of eight business improvement districts now in Cornwall, and 335 in operation around the UK, which are reported to contribute around £150 million into the British economy every year.

In order for a BID to operate it must achieve a majority ‘yes’ of at least 50% for both the criteria of rateable and number of votes.

They are not-for-profit and are business-led, operating with local expertise and in Falmouth’s case, in partnership with town businesses and Cornish organisations.

They provide support and attract investments to high streets.

Falmouth BID has been supporting, funding and creating a large variety of projects for the benefit of Falmouth for more than a decade.

As a result of this work, Falmouth BID manager Richard Wilcox has been asked to chair both a Cornwall Towns Group and South West of England BIDs forum.

In addition, he sits on a national advisory council for high streets, which seeks to influence Government on place-related policy and investment matters.

In 2019, the partnership with Falmouth Town Council which forms the Falmouth Town Team, was recognised as the UK’s best in 2019, while Mr Wilcox secured the industry’s prestigious ‘Inspirational Leader of the Year’ award in 2022 for the team’s efforts over the past few years, while operating within such a challenging economic environment.

Commenting on the Falmouth BID ballot result, town mayor of Falmouth Kirstie Edwards said: “This really is great news.

“It’s a very challenging trading environment but the BID and Town Team resource has been a crucial point of difference for our town over many years.

“The range of community projects, festivals, campaigns and more, has been exceptional and especially so, given the modest resources available.

“I’m delighted that so many businesses have recognised the efforts with their strong endorsement of the Falmouth BID at the recent ballot. I look forward to more proactive schemes being delivered in 2024 and beyond. “ Over the past five-year term, the Falmouth BID has engaged in many projects including:

  • Leading on Covid support measures to ensure hundreds of businesses received swift grant payments
  •  Working with Falmouth Town Council on the opening of an in-town Covid vaccination centre Delivering a global PR campaign that reached an audience of over 90 million
  •  Co-leading on securing and delivering last year’s Tall Ships event
  •  Funding and coordinating the town visual displays, including street bunting and flags
  • Engaging in the National Armed Forces Day event last year, which Falmouth hosted
  • Supporting the Tour of Britain cycling event in 2021
  • Funding and supporting annual events such as Falmouth Week and Sea Shanty Festival
  •  Co-ordinating over 250 volunteers on a comprehensive ‘pride of place’ programme leading to beach cleans, green space makeovers and town murals

Enabling a new, creative sector forum – Falmouth Creates, leading to recent additions such as Falmouth Book Festival, Falmouth Cringe comedy, WanderFAL and FORM art fair