August marks 20 years of Town Centre Management in Lincoln and 10 years of the city having its own Business Improvement District (BID).
The city has certainly changed physically over that period, but the team at Lincoln BIG hopes that it has not only supported local businesses wherever possible, but also helped to change perceptions about Lincoln and bring in more shoppers and tourists.
When Lincoln BIG came into existence 10 years ago, it was supporting over 800 businesses and working with a budget of £750,000, with a BID levy of £250,000.
Today, it is one of 200 BIDs and, after being given a clear mandate for a third five-year term, has an annual turnover of more than £1.5m, whilst the BID levy has increased to £300,000.
When Lincoln BIG started out their main initiatives were providing hanging baskets and security radios for businesses.
Their programmes of activity now include the City Centre Warden team, events such as the Ice Rink and the Barons' Trail, the evening economy, marketing, security, ambassadors, support for Visit Lincoln and the operation of the Lincoln Visitor Information Centre - under a service level agreement with the City of Lincoln Council.
This means that Lincoln BIG now employs a team of over 20 full and part-time staff, from office admin workers to open top bus tour guides.