Colmore BID - the commercial heart of Birmingam


Colmore BID Background

The Colmore Business District (Colmore BID) project manages improvements and services to the business quarter of Birmingham. First established in 2009, Colmore BID is now in its second term after a resounding ‘yes vote’ in its 2014 renewal ballot.

Around 500 companies are located within the BID, employing up to 35,000 people and occupying around 5.6 million square feet of office space. The District also has an excellent hospitality offering.

The Colmore BID has 6 key objectives: ‘Accessible and Connected’, ‘Business Matters’, ‘Community Building’, ‘Outstanding Places’, ‘Place Marketing’ and ‘Safe and Sound’. Its vision is to improve, sustain and promote Colmore BID as the commercial heart of Birmingham for the benefit of all professional, financial and business service companies, public agencies and local service businesses, their staff, customers and visitors.

“We happily recommend The Welcome People! We work hard to consult with our levy payers and optimise feedback. The fact that we have Ambassadors carrying out business visits, bring key information back to us in the office and record this all on Strata, really enhances our ability to evidence our achievements and levels of engagement."

Sarah Rennie, Projects Maker, Colmore BID 

The Colmore BID Ambassador Brief

As Colmore BID neared its second term it became evident that a stronger ‘on the ground’ service and dedicated team to meet and greet visitors was needed. Given the nature of our BID, there was a strong need to develop the BIDs warden service and move away from the current ‘high vis’ presence.

Investigation the options available the Colmore BID team came across The Welcome People Ambassador programme. The smart and professional appearance of The Welcome People’s Ambassadors was seen to set the right tone.

In addition, the quality and breadth of the Ambassadors’ training programme impressed and the Colmore BID management team felt confident in relying on The Welcome People's expertise. In July 2014 The Welcome People Ambassadors started working across the Colmore BID area.

“In our first term we were acutely aware that we had no means to monitor or analyse the cleaning and repair reports raised by our warden service – largely because they had no mechanism to record them in the first place! Searching for a solution, we found The Welcome People and we were very impressed by potential benefits of STRATA to capture and analyse data."


The Colmore BID Ambassadors

The Ambassadors attend all the BID’s events; their unique, branded uniforms are instantly recognisable by visitors and guests. In 2015 the team was a great asset during the annual Colmore BID Food Festival to help support the 32,000 visitors attracted by the event. The BID also hosts an Arts and Craft market three-four times per year and the Ambassadors are an extra pair of ‘eyes and ears’ to help during the morning set-up when the risk of thefts are higher. They also have a great relationship with the local PCSO to help liaise over anti-social behaviour issues. By using the Strata data to demonstrate positive results, Colmore BID has been able to secure more support from the Police at particular times of the day.

“We have had lots of positive feedback from businesses and visitors to the area about the The Welcome People service. It has been really satisfying to see that people are taking the time to get in touch and say ‘thank you’ for support provided by the Ambassadors. Recently, one of our Ambassadors saw an elderly lady looking a bit confused getting out from a taxi. The Ambassadors escorted her to the door to the office where she had a meeting. That business was so impressed and grateful they passed on their gratitude to our BID Board Director."

Sarah Rennie, Projects Maker, Colmore BID

The importance of good data and accountability

Naturally, The Welcome People Ambassadors in their distinctive and smart uniforms got a lot of attention and were an instant hit with the businesses. However, for the team at Colmore BID Strata really paid dividends in the first few days.

Being a professional services BID, it seemed unusual that STRATA data showed the majority of visitors greeted by the Ambassadors were tourists. This was a concern because the BID wanted the Ambassadors to support business clients hurrying to meetings at rush hour who might need directions. Information from enabled Colmore BID to change the Ambassadors’ zones of patrol early in the morning and around 5pm. As a result the number of business interactions tripled overnight.

Without Strata, we wouldn’t have known that or been able to carry out such a swift and efficiency improvement. It’s also been invaluable for identifying hotspots for rubbish and dropped litter. Not only does this give us an easy way to report and monitor issues, but the visual tools are a great way to present data to our Board Directors and levy payers.

Sarah Rennie, Projects Maker, Colmore BID