Hello everyone,  

Well, that has been a couple of months that were not in anyone’s business plan.   The uncertainty the Coronavirus pandemic has caused has put a significant strain on us all. I think it’s fair to say that worrying about both the health and economic impacts has been fairly exhausting for most. Plus the added work of home-schooling for many of you while juggling everything else – I take my hat off to you.  

Regular meetings on Zoom, Teams (and the rest) have been adopted as the norm and whilst I’m not a fan or the phrase ‘new normal’, we all recognise there will be permanent changes as a consequence, both in terms of how the high street works and the wider business arena.  

To focus on the positives, it has been amazing to watch some of you completely adapt your business models to enable you to continue trading. I would like to thank my small internal team for the speed with which the "Ilkley To You" campaign was put together, something which has been replicated in most areas since. I have seen the evidence that this is translating directly into visits to members websites and social media which is good news. The radio campaign has been extended to the end of May then we will review and decide what happens next.  

I have been working closely with Bradford Council particularly in relation to getting the grant payments to those of you who qualify. There is further information below but please get in touch as a matter of urgency if you have not received a payment and think you meet the criteria.  

Ilkley company Approach PR have been awarded a council contract focused on sharing positive news stories from around the district and we are seeing some great coverage for Ilkley already. Look out for (and join in) the hashtag #TogetherBradfordCan. 

Lots of work is continuing in the background including research for a town centre app, steps to try achieve a ‘coach friendly’ status, Ilkley Watch crime prevention project and lots more. This is on top of the work which will be more directly in response to the Covid-19 effects on businesses. 
Ilkley BID supporting local businesses during Coronavirus

The Ilkley BID team has been committed in helping the businesses and the local community during the lockdown.  We have direct links to the latest official government advice on the BID website with each new relevant announcement shared on our social media platforms:  There are lots of Business Support Schemes to help you through these unprecedented times. We have linked the most up to date information regarding these schemes below for anyone still unsure if you are eligible. There are also many useful websites which we have linked that may be relevant to you. Please note, we are attending weekly Bronze Partner Conference calls and are continuously liaising with the Business Rates team in order to ensure that the payment of grants are being dealt with fast and effectively.
BID Board of Directors

As we approach the end of the first year of the BID we are pleased to announce the following Board Directors who are happy to stand for another year. Other interested parties can put themselves forward and should contact Helen in the first instance to find out more about what's involved. The voting in of the board will take place at the AGM on 1st of July which may be an online meeting or at The Clarke Foley Centre but observing social distancing guidelines - further information will follow in due course. 

Day to day bookkeeping is completed internally and the financial compliance work by TaxAssist Accountants but we would like to add someone suitably skilled to sit on the board in a Finance Director / Treasurer role - again please contact Helen to discuss this vacancy. 
Stuart Hyde - Chairman The Clarke Foley Centre – representing the not-for-profit sector.
Caz Stewart  The Secret Drawer – representing independent retail, non-food.
Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw  BMDC representing CBMDC.
Emma Lishman  Lishman’s of Ilkley representing independent retail - food.
Fiona Robinson  Virtual College representing large office employers.
Ian White  Bluehoop Digital – voluntary levy payer representing small office businesses
Jo Jarvis  Pi Healthcare – representing small office businesses 
Lee Teal  Love Brownies and Designed For -  representing independent retail food and non-food retail
Louise Hale  Ilkley Community Enterprise representing the not-for-profit sector.
Nicola Hill  The Lister Arms – representing the hospitality sector.
Sarah Siddons  Sarah Siddons Financial Planning – representing professional services businesses
Sarita Prashar  Store Manager at Tesco representing national retailers.  
Tim Tennant  The Art Shops – Representing independent retail, non-food. 


Ilkley BID is backing Croydon BID, who are leading the #RaiseTheBar campaign, asking for Central Government to expand the rateable value threshold for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses from £51,000 to any business with a rateable value up to and including £150,000.  This will allow businesses to access the £25,000 grant in order to survive.  The campaign is supported by industry wide bodies that represent over 100,000 businesses across the UK.
Ilkley has many businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sector and there are many businesses that have been excluded from government loan support schemes due to their size or European Union State Aid rules.  These are some of our most adaptable businesses and Ilkley’s economy will need them to stave off the threat of cessation, so that they can play their role in rejuvenating the economy and contributing to community wellbeing.  Ilkley BID has written to Robbie Moore, MP, Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council and all our local Councillors.
To support the campaign individually, whether you work in the sectors or not, you can visit and sign up to make a positive change. 
Ilkley To You - When you can’t come to Ilkley, let Ilkley come to you!

Our new "Ilkley To You" campaign was launched at the begining of lock down and has worked well with the audience, growing every day as the word spreads across Social Media.    We are gaining new followers daily and are regularly promoting the BID businesses who are still open and offering a service.  If you would like us to mention you on Social Media please get in touch:  If you want to be listed on the website please complete the form here:
Monthly Sales Data - April's Survey
Thank you to everyone who completed the Sales Data survey last month.  The new survey for the month of April is now live. Please go to to upload your Monthly Sales Data for April 2020.
Due to the current situation its very important that we collate Ilkley's trading data to analyse the impact of the Coronavirus on our local economy. We need to understand the speed in drop of sales and ultimately, the speed of recovery.
Ilkley Branding UPDATE

We had an excellent response from our Branding Survey which closed on 1st May and have now held two branding workshops hosted by branding company Biskit. Thanks to those business owners and other parties who attended the online sessions.  Initial concepts are due to be presented to the board on 20th May. 
Meercat Cost Cutting Services

To date Meercat have identified £22k in savings in BID Member bills ( including energy bills, telecoms, merchant services and insurance).  Some businesses have not yet used this service – please do this if you haven’t already as some of you could be saving thousands of pounds!  Like everyone else, Meercat have had to adapt their business model and are now working with us via online methods.  This service can be accessed by teleconferencing, by sending copy bills via WhatsApp (07982 414545) or by emailing

FREE Online Courses for BID members COMING SOON!

With the help of Virtual College, we have teamed up with the Bradford and Keighley BIDs to offer an Online Learning Platform with a range of FREE and discounted courses for BID Members only.  The courses will be available for BID businesses and their furloughed staff.  We will be in touch soon with more details including how to sign up.
Discounted Mortgage Advice

Mortgage Advice Bureau Ilkley are delighted to offer Ilkley BID members a special price for their mortgage arrangement fee – just £250 instead of their usual fee of £495. Initial consultations are free of charge with the fee only becoming payable if you proceed to application. Now is a great time to see if you can save on your mortgage payments so why not get in touch?  Download the voucher here:

Business Photography for Levy Payers
Before the lockdown, The Ilkley Shoe Company and TaxAssist took advantage of the free photography service.  You can see from these photos how useful and versatile the images can be; providing fresh content for your website, social media or general marketing collateral.   If you are working, in some situations it is still possible to undertake this work, observing social distancing. If you would like to book an appointment or if you would like to register your interest to book a slot post Coronavirus, please email
Life in Lockdown Doorstep Photography Service
Soul & Co a locally based event management company have been out and about documenting life in lockdown by taking photos of residents and businesses on their doorsteps. They are offering a free photo shoot to any Ilkley based businesses who are still able to operate all done from a safe distance.

To get involved and arrange a visit contact Nicola on

Visit their facebook page here:

Wishing you all the best and hoping to see you all soon, 
Helen & The Ilkley BID Team

The Board of Directors would like to invite all businesses in the ILKLEY BID area to their first Annual General Meeting.

As well as presenting the annual accounts, the AGM will include a review of milestones & achievements that have been secured in the first year of the current BID term which runs until 31st May 2024. 

The specifics of how the AGM will run will be reviewed nearer the time. 

Click HERE to register & let us know that you will joining us at our first AGM

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