A Letter from the Chair to BID members
Dear Penrith BID member
In light of the recent document published last Friday in The Cumberland and Westmorland Herald by a group known as Penrith Futures Partnership, I feel it is necessary to write to you to explain our position at the Business Improvement District.
Much of what BID does is visible to all such as the Christmas lights, but a lot of what we do is behind the scenes, ensuring 300+ businesses have a voice with some of the key decisions and plans that affect the Town. We spend a lot of our time in collaboration with the key stakeholders and Councils, ensuring that what is planned for Penrith in the future, is relevant and deliverable.
Over the last 12 months, the BID (and myself personally) has been part of a group made up of the 3 Councils and key stakeholders, looking at what the future of Penrith is and the direction it should take for the next 10 years. With everyone’s hard work, a Penrith Place Plan has been put together that capitalises on our connections, local economy and culture. The plan is currently in its draft stage but over the coming weeks will go to each Council to be endorsed. Once done it will form the basis for Penrith to deliver new projects and apply for relevant funding.
It is disappointing that the Penrith Futures Partnership group chose not to discuss their document with us in the 18 months they have been together, but instead publish it for, in their words, a discussion. I agree their document does have some good points and well thought out ideas but many of these are already contained within the Penrith Place Plan we have been working on. Their document, in our opinion, only serves to duplicate and confuse.
We always welcome the opportunity to collaborate with new groups and listen to new ideas and information for the benefit of the town, but this should be done in a collaborative way and into the correct channels and working teams. As the Penrith Futures Partnership group, in our view, did not do this, we do not endorse or put our name to their document at this stage. Too many plans muddy the waters and risk nothing being achieved at all.
I can assure you that BID will continue to work on the Penrith Place Plan which will form the basis of new projects and funding streams in Penrith and I will communicate those to you in the future.