Statement in response to Southside BID’s decision not to implement road closures in its district on weekends.
10 August 2020
Nicola Fleet-Milne, Chair of Colmore BID, said:
“We are deeply disappointed in the steps that Southside BID has been forced to take in order to push through its application to close Hurst Street and support the district’s night-time economy. Until now, the local authority and licencing departments have made it impossible for the proposed scheme to be effective for businesses in the area; hundreds of jobs are being put on the line due to declining footfall and diminishing capacity within venues. However, the scheme is now having the discussion it deserves and we hope Southside gets the result it wants.
“Like Southside, we have also been working on numerous public realm projects that will support our leisure and hospitality industry, however we are becoming increasingly frustrated at the prohibitive approach of Birmingham City Council.
“Derby, Nottingham and Liverpool, amongst others, have been quick to implement outdoor seating schemes, while Birmingham is left behind. Venues and the general public are turning to BIDs, demanding to know why we are not delivering similar projects. The reality is that we have worked tirelessly behind the scenes, but have nothing yet to show due to the bureaucracy, lack of pragmatism and sluggish approach of our local authority.
“We implore Birmingham City Council and partners to look into the proposed schemes with a pragmatic view and as a matter of urgency. If they do not, many of our bars and restaurants may cease to exist, dramatically impacting the economic wellbeing of the entire city.