Mo’s Blog: August 2016

moaswatThe BREXIT vote seems a little away now. Since then we have had a new Prime Minister in place and a new look cabinet, as well as leadership elections elsewhere. The UK is preparing itself for the future, trying to stabilise the economy and negotiating its place in Europe in a very different context. We are feeling the impact, with a slowdown in business investment, particularly in the property fund market, driven by economic and political uncertainty, and a weak pound. UK growth in consumer spending will also likely to be hit in the short term, so now more than ever we need to work much harder to support our businesses, and our communities.

Interesting times – and It’s been somewhat reflective in Mosaic HQ as well, after a busy start to the year, looking back at our achievements and planning for our work going forward. In doing so we are constantly reminded of how lucky we are to work with such great partnerships and people, many of which, deliver inspiration, leadership and great projects for their places.

I am therefore delighted to report further successes, and congratulate another two of locations on successful ballots, Collectively Camberley on their first renewal continuing to choose to invest a further £1.5 million, and Hampstead Village on their new BID resulting in a £1.2 million investment It’s been great to work with both teams, and I look forward to seeing their projects come to fruition.

I reported last month on Cardiff’s successful BID Ballot, Mosaic’s 79th in the UK. Mosaic has been incredibly proud to work with the capital city of Wales, a successful, vibrant and cosmopolitan place. Whilst it’s wonderful to take a BID to successful ballot, it’s also a great opportunity to work on getting that BID off the ground following the YES vote. There is such a strong focus from the Task Group on getting the BID to a successful ballot, but when it goes through it is really important to establish a firm foundation for the BID to move into delivering an effective and tangible set of projects. With all the set up demands such as electing a Board and forming a new company, financial considerations and managing expectations from businesses, it can feel overwhelming, particularly if there is also new staffing to contend with.

Many locations nowadays value continuity and experience in this early stage. Cardiff has a committed and dynamic BID Board, and a supportive Council, with an ambitious business plan and a £7.5 million budget. To ensure that things move into the delivery phase with urgency and confidence they have appointed The Mosaic Partnership to manage the set up and delivery programme for the BID. The Board expressed an interest in the provision of a management service very early on as they recognised the value in our expertise and experience not only in taking the BID to ballot, but also setting up an organisation that will effectively deliver their plan and instill confidence in their levy payers and businesses during the embryonic stage of the BID. Cardiff is one of many BIDs we provide Interim Management for, and its great to see many locations now looking to invest in such an important and valuable provision, at such a crucial stage.   Forward thinking and proactive planning really pays off especially during a BIDs first year.

Our international work has also ramped up significantly, we are currently preparing for several study tours with overseas delegates, and I have spent the last few weeks in Singapore advising and working with the Singapore River One team, an ongoing public private partnership model developed over the last few years. Singapore are now moving forward with their plans to develop their first BID, and The Mosaic Partnership have also just been appointed to develop the Business Plan. Its an exciting development, and will be pivotal to the future of Singapore’s funding to support the business community and a thriving economy and business district.

Our work in Northern Ireland also continues to evolve, with several Feasibility studies taking place, and a number of key events planned to work with stakeholders there on collaborative projects, I look forward to updating on that in October.

I’m also delighted to be joining the judging panel for the UK Town Centre Solutions Challenge, a national competition hosted by the Revive & Thrive Place Management team to look at the most effective solutions to support town centres and locations. I’ve been working with the Revive & Thrive team now for several months and I’m always impressed by their dedication and commitment to promoting such a positive message, striving to continually bring partnerships together and work collaboratively to support our UK towns and cities. I look forward to working with them, reviewing the submissions and awarding the winning entry. As a sponsor for the event, I do feel strongly about supporting initiatives which promote a cohesive approach to finding real solutions that can evolve our places and communities, and allow them to grow.

It’s an exciting time, and a busy one – but with just enough time to squeeze in some much needed R&R and quality time with the family. Look forward to sharing more about our projects in September, and our plans for 2017.

Have a great summer!