Retail and commercial centres across the country are set to benefit from the latest cohort of business leaders graduating through an innovative course that has been pioneered by the British BIDs Academy and the University of Westminster.

The Certificate in Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Management trains existing business professionals to become high-street leaders by giving them a thorough understanding of the contribution that BIDs can make to rejuvenating our town centres and invigorating local economies.

The course covers all aspects of working within a BID environment and is delivered by industry experts and practitioners in partnership with the University, which provides support and accreditation.

The Course Leader and Chief Executive of British BIDs, Julie Grail, says: “This is the only formal qualification for BID professionals, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Westminster to drive forward professionalism and standards amongst the place management community.”

Sibyl Coldham, Director of Professional Learning and Accreditation Services at the University, says that this course “shows the value of integrating practical and academic learning to improve industry skills”, and that “one of the benefits to the participants is that they can add to their academic credits gained through this course by taking other related modules available at the University”.

The course was officially launched in 2013 with backing from central government and senior business leaders. The latest cohort of graduates received their awards and certificates at the British BIDs Annual Conference in November.

About BIDs

Business Improvement Districts are business-led partnerships focused on improving and enhancing commercial areas including town and city centres, commercial locations and industrial estates. There are currently 184 BIDs operating in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. British BIDs is the voice for this BID industry.

More about the certificate

The Certificate in BID Management is an academically accredited postgraduate short course (20 credits at Level 7) and is open to anyone who is interested in developing their business district management skills. The course is delivered part-time through a combination of distance learning and on-site training days. It runs annually from May to October and culminates in an assessment day during which participants present their chosen research topic to a panel of industry experts.

The course provides a professional insight into the general principles of BIDs, BID management and governance, BID ballot techniques, operational management of BIDs, and marketing and communication in BIDs. Participants also have the opportunity to get an understanding of the wider industry through involvement in the Nationwide BID Survey Boot Camp, together with getting first-hand experience in a different BID environment through the exchange component of the course.

Please contact University Link Officer Terry Wilden at [email protected] to find out more about the course.

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