Halebank Industrial Estate BID3 Summary (2018 – 2023)
Halebank Industrial Estate is an established industrial park located on the western fringe of Widnes. Halebank has convenient access to the A562, the main arterial road to Liverpool (13 miles) and the John Lennon International Airport (5 miles). Both the M62 and M56 Motorways are approximately 5 miles distant. Halebank is a Business Improvement District (BID), a partnership between Halton BID (a not for profit, business centric organisation), the local authority and the local business community.
The geographic area that Halebank Business Improvement District delivers services and projects to includes: Pickerings Road, Broughton Way, Hale Road (Co-op only), Mersey View Road, Foundry Lane and Waterside Lane including Widnes Business Park.
BID3 ran from 2018 to 2023 across Halebank Industrial Estate. Throughout BID3 Halton BID continued to support BID businesses through some very challenging times and trading difficulties.
The BID continued to provide services to improve the quality of the area for the businesses, visitors and employees within it, as well as improving attractiveness to new investors. Projects included the provision of better lighting and street cleaning, as well as the creation of green spaces, crime reduction programmes, events and accessibility improvements, in addition to marketing, networking and inward investment initiatives.
BID3 Halebank Levy & Financials
The BID3 Levy was based on a property/hereditament’s rateable value according to the VOA’s 2017 Rateable Value list. The BID Levy Bandings can be found on the right, alongside our income and expenditure figures. You can also find individual properties rateable value here.
Halton BID’s expenditure strategy in BID3 was to continually seek out and deliver best value, whilst realising economies of scale. This has allowed for some cost savings and additional value for money for BID businesses. There were also a number unforeseen situations, that did not form part of the original BID 3 delivery plan. During BID3 there was a national pandemic that interrupted any hope of ‘business as usual’ for all organisations. There was also a new development, Foundry House on Widnes Business Park.
Both impacted on Halton BID’s delivery and expenditure plans. As a result BID3 ended with unplanned, reserve funds. These funds have been allocated to BID4 and will be invested back into the estate over the BID4 term (2023-2027). The reserve funds, along with the unaltered, annual BID Levy will allow us to continue to deliver and build upon the projects identified in BID3.
Together we will also continue to improve the estate for the betterment of businesses, employees, visitors and customers and assist in the delivery of identified areas for additional help and support.
On Halebank, Widnes Business Park attracted additional investment and extra units and offices were developed by Thrive. This resulted in additional businesses moving onto the estate. Some larger premises were re-purposed and converted into individual business units/offices, both of which resulted in a significant, unplanned increase in revenue, not accounted for in the original BID3 proposal.
This development changed the makeup of the estate by accommodating many small organisations in premises with a much lower rateable than previously available. To accommodate these structural changes, Halton BID listened to these BID businesses and introduced the Halebank Business Development Grant. This grant specifically targeted the small and micro organisations and provided financial assistance for training, development, business growth, recruitment and operation expenses. The grant ensured that smaller organisations were accommodated financially, whilst also allowing them to access the benefits of the Business Improvement District.
The Halebank Business Development Grant
Widnes Business Park was invested in and extra units and offices were developed by a property company. This resulted in additional businesses moving on to the estate and some larger premises being re-purposed and converted into individual business units/offices. This resulted in a substantial increase in revenue, which was not accounted for in the BID3 proposal. Furthermore HaltonBID did not account for businesses with small premises/rateable values therefore after the introduction of these smaller premises we listened and introduced the Halebank Business Development Grant to accommodate for businesses with a rateable value from £801 up to £4,999. After these businesses paid the band A levy (£695) they received £300 to help soften any impact the levy would have on their business. Any business with a rateable value between £0 and £800 had their entire levy paid back in full (£695).
COVID-19 & the Impact of the National Pandemic on BID3
As a result of COVID, a great deal of ground was lost, activity across Halebank had to be curtailed in order to conform to COVID guidelines and restrictions. There was less need for targeted litter picks/street cleansing and the usual estate maintenance tasks because activity across the estate was curtailed. BID expenses were reduced as there were no face-to-face meetings and no travel allowed. The face to face training schedule had to be withdrawn and many planned events, such as the annual AGMs and networking meetings, had to be cancelled. In fact, much of the work carried out by Halton BID at that time was delivering business support and assistance, which whilst gratefully received did not result in budgeted expenditure.
Halton BID also received a small Government Grant that was not in the BID3 business plan.
To support BID members Halton BID did invest in new initiatives such as the supply of face masks and hand gel, which was particularly well received especially in the early days when it was in short supply and very expensive. The provision of online training and organised additional day time and evening patrols during periods where many businesses were shut down and the estates were quiet. These initiatives were welcomed and the support gratefully received, however, they did not require the same level of investment as the activity we had planned.
Recovery following Covid was difficult and the BID has faced a number of challenges, not least trying to connect with businesses that moved on to the estate, re-connect face to face with BID members, getting the training schedule and workshops up and running from a standing start, taking on and training new staff, getting the estate better maintained and support the businesses looking to get back up to speed. Halton BID also had to invest time and resource researching and preparing for a new, follow on, BID4 proposal and ballot
The BID research resulted in 85% of survey respondents in Halebank stating that their business has improved by being part of Halton BID and that the BID is value for money. As a result we are looking forward to further developing and positively impacting the estate in BID4.
Despite the challenging times businesses faced during BID3, a majority of Halebank businesses, which voted by number and by rateable value, said “YES” to Halton BID (Halebank) continuing for a further five-year term from 1st April 2023 until 31 March 2028.
Halebank Operating Group (as of the final year of BID3 – 2023)
David Halton – Managing Director of Acer Engineering Ltd, Halebank Operating Group Chair
Lee Brabin – Director of Suresafe Electrics, Halebank Operating Group Vice-Chair
Joanne Penston – Senior Operations, Silva Timber
David Farrell – Managing Director, Hough Green Garage Ltd
Phil Hudzik – Managing Director, MELO World Ltd
Richie Curran – Director, Global Connect Unified Communications