Visit Staines is the trading name of Staines-upon-Thames Business Improvement District (BID) and is an independent, not for profit, business-led initiative working to create the environment for businesses in Staines-upon-Thames town centre to succeed.

Business Improvement Districts nationwide provide a mechanism for businesses in a designated area to pool their resources and invest in agreed products and services. Visit Staines BID was established in 2017 and has a mandate to deliver a set of proposals set out in our business plan over a 5-year term. We will be going to reballot in 2022.

A BID (Business Improvement District) is a designated zone (BID Area) in which businesses (BID Levy Payers) benefit from a wide range of additional services over and above those funded through the standard commercial rates and council services.

Constituted by UK law in 2004, a BID is a powerful, independent voice representing the interests of a varied community of organisations, committed to working together to ensure that the town continues to progress whilst providing the best possible trading and working environment for its occupiers.

The business led and business funded organisation will raise £1.5 million to invest in Staines-upon-Thames town centre over the five year term, raised from a levy of 1.5% of the rateable value of eligible business premises.

As well as our 300 levy payers, Visit Staines BID also works with a number of businesses outside of the town centre who want to support our initiatives and getinvolved. These are known as voluntary levy payers. For more information about becoming a voluntary levy payer, please get in touch.

Click here to view the Visit Staines BID business plan 2017-2022

What are BIDs?

BIDs are an arrangement whereby businesses come together and decide which improvements they feel could be made in their town or city centre, and also how they will implement these improvements and what it will cost them. BIDs are financed and controlled by the businesses within the selected area. BIDs can run for a maximum of five years and during this time they must be able to show that they are benefitting the businesses that fund it.

Why do we need a BID?

Staines-upon-Thames is a thriving market town in Surrey, yet it needs to evolve and change to remain competitive in the face of growing competition. It will need to do this against the background of tighter public sector finances and other towns who already have BIDs in place injecting several hundred thousand pounds a year into their locations. By obtaining BID status for Staines-upon-Thames it enables the private sector (retail, leisure, tourism, office and commercial) to decide the projects and services that should be delivered in their area to ensure that Staines-upon-Thames has a stronger profile, attracting visitors, increasing footfall, more spending, directly supporting businesses and encouraging investment.

What can BIDs deliver?

It’s up to you as a business to help shape what the BID in Staines-upon-Thames might deliver. BIDs can deliver any projects or services that are agreed by the businesses in the BID area. These projects must go over and above anything that is already provided through business rates and by the local authority.

Why do businesses support BIDs?

BIDs have the ability to increase footfall to an area, reduce business costs and improve services. As they can run for up to five years they also give businesses the opportunity to plan ahead. BIDs put the control into the hands of the businesses themselves. BIDs do not substitute services provided through business rates, they must provide additional services.

Our achievements in Year 3, 1st April 2019 – 31st March 2020:

Marketing & Events

  • We funded and delivered a 3-day Open Air Cinema in Memorial Gardens showing 3 films and the Wimbledon Finals to an audience of 1,500 visitors over the course of the event which was free to the public. It was so popular that we are doing it all again this year, hopefully on August bank holiday weekend!
  • We funded and delivered a 2-day Valuation Days event in Market Square with BBC presenter Paul Martin from Flog It and experts providing free valuations to members of the public on antiques and collectables.
  • We organised a Porsche Car show on the roof of The Elmsleigh Centre multi-storey car park with The Stig lookalike as our special guest and over 100 Porsche’s joined us on the day; it was a free event for visitors and our second Porsche Car Show! We are planning another Staines-upon-Thames Car Show for 2020 so watch this space!
  • We funded and delivered a Comedy Night in an impressive marquee in Market Square with 4 comedians including famed Dominic Holland entertaining an audience of 100 paid guests (only £15 per ticket). We already have 2 Comedy Nights planned for 2020, kindly hosted by The London Stone pub on Church Street.
  • We hosted and promoted 2 Vegan Markets on the High Street. Unfortunately it seems that Staines-upon-Thames is not ready for a regular vegan market just yet and stallholders told us it was very quiet, so it won’t be a monthly occurrence but we hope to include as part of an annual Food Festival in the future!
  • We hosted and promoted 12 Farmers Markets on the High Street, supporting this event further with regular live music and entertainment. Our Farmers Market turns 2 this August!
  • We publicised and assisted the annual Pancake Race to help support Shopmobility.
  • We publicised and supported the annual Christmas parade.
  • We funded and organised the Christmas nutcracker trail across town which consisted of 12 nutcracker soldiers being placed across town and various linked competitions. This was exceptionally popular on the Visit Staines facebook page and we loved seeing everyone’s selfies!
  • We funded the 3-day Christmas snow globe on the High Street which was free to members of the public for a third year. We will be doing this again this December.
  • We delivered Spy Quest events in town, a free interactive game for visitors.
  • Sponsored the Spelthorne Business Awards category of Best Business in Staines-upon-Thames BID Area for a second year. Congratulations to 2018 and 2019 winners Caffe Gusto and McDonalds.
  • Sponsored Staines-upon-Thames Day and had a stall on the High Street handing out our reusable Visit Staines shopping bags.
  • Sponsored the Staines 10K race.
  • We gave away thousands of reusable Visit Staines hessian bags and will be ordering more this year.
  • We reached 6,400 followers on the Visit Staines Facebook page, 942 followers on our Twitter page and 1,155 followers on our Instagram page. This has since increased so please make sure you are following us!
  • We commissioned a new Visit Staines website which will launch in April (the one you are looking at now!)
  • We ran regular marketing campaigns in TW magazine, Heathrow Villager, Shepperton & Sunbury Matters and The Primary Times.
  • We purchased 2 Visit Staines BID branded digital advertising boards for Staines-upon-Thames High Street so that we can promote our 300 members for free as well as publicise forthcoming events. We are currently in discussions with Surrey County Council regarding the on-going management and installation of the equipment and hope they will be operational soon!

Attractive Town

  • Funded and organised the town’s Christmas lights and without the BID there would be no Christmas lights!
  • Funded the summer and winter hanging baskets across town which make the town look bright and attractive.
  • Funded the flower towers across town which always get fantastic feedback from visitors.
  • Planted lavender in the brick border outside of The George pub which looks lovely in the summer.
  • Planted in the stone planters in Market Square as they had been left and no one took ownership so we adopted them!
  • Funded graffiti removal across town.
  • Funded deep cleaning on the High Street which made a big impact!
  • Provided the free High Street Wi-Fi which also doubles up as footfall counters.
  • Displayed Visit Staines flags above businesses on the High Street, under the iron bridge as they are the main gateway to the town.
  • We displayed 2 Farmers Market banners above the High Street to promote the monthly market.
  • We met with Network Rail to seek permission to undertake gardening work at the station and this will be delivered in 2020.

Safe & Secure

  • We organised and installed a new public, life-saving defibrillator for Staines-upon-Thames High Street which is accessible 24/7. A huge thank you to Bupa for agreeing to sponsor the equipment.
  • We contract BID Rangers every Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 7pm and every school holiday (i.e. 1 week in February half term, 2 weeks at Easter, 6 weeks in summer, 1 week in October, 2 weeks at Christmas) who are a security deterrent and provide a safe and reassuring presence in the town.
  • We operate the Stai-Safe radio scheme which is the town’s business crime radio enabling businesses to have direct contact with the CCTV control room, BID Rangers, Shopping Centre security guards and fellow businesses to share information and communicate. We also provide regular Stai-Safe training. It is £250 per annum for BID members to join this scheme.
  • We offer the app DISC to our Stai-Safe radio members which is a crime information sharing app.

Business Support

  • We worked in partnership with Spelthorne Borough Council to offer discounted parking for 75 employees within the BID area who can park for £4 per day / £2 for half day in The Elmsleigh Centre multi-storey car park. For more information please email michelle@visitstaines.co.uk
  • We have continued the discussions with Surrey County Council and relevant stakeholders to relay our concerns that the obsolete bollards at both ends of the High Street should be replaced for safety reasons.