Sheffield BID’s new buddies to provide friendly welcome to city’s visitors

Sheffield’s Business Improvement District (Sheffield BID) is bringing a new team of city hosts to Sheffield, who are set to welcome visitors and help people find their way in the city centre.

The BID Buddies will be professionally suited and booted, with distinctive bowler hats to help them stand out on the streets. They will act as a street concierge service, providing welcome, way-finding and reassurance to visitors.

The new team will help increase Sheffield’s reputation for being one of the UK’s friendliest cities. They will provide a cheerful hellos and helpful words to shoppers and visitors, as well as those who live, work and invest in the city centre. The BID Buddies will also promote BID businesses, city centre events and visitor attractions.

When not greeting the public, the Buddies will keep businesses informed about the activities of the BID, and promote BID opportunities to the levy payers who fund the BID. The team will be the BID’s “eyes and ears” on the street, providing intelligence and data gathering as well as reporting environmental issues and anti-social behaviour.

The team has been formed in response to growing calls from the city’s office and professional services sector, which represents more than 40% of companies that pay the BID levy. The BID Buddies will also play an active role in supporting events, conferences and business meetings for levy paying businesses with a meet and greet service.

Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID Manager, said: “The office market is going from strength to strength with Sheffield fast becoming a location that is attractive to investors. With a central business district emerging around the Heart of the City II creating a new sense of upmarket vibrancy, the time is right to introduce a team who will appeal not only to visitors but to prime UK and international investors as well.

“The evolving nature of the high street means that we need to reimagine the city centre as a place where businesses can locate and create jobs. The city must also be a place which people want to visit for a variety of reasons. We must focus on creating a more attractive and professional environment for a wider range of businesses.

“The BID Buddies will bring new momentum and energy to the city centre, complementing the role of the council’s existing ambassador team”.

The BID Buddies is the fourth team to be introduced to the city centre by the BID. They will join the BID’s dedicated police resource, headed up by Police Sergeant Matthew Burdett; the Clean Team, a team of cleaners who remove graffiti from the city’s walls; and the Street Rangers, who complete a daily early morning clean of the streets.

The BID Buddies initiative is being delivered through The Welcome People, whose award-winning teams greet visitors at some of the UK’s most popular destinations.

Richard Eyre, Head of City Centre Management at Sheffield City Council said: “This is a great addition to the city centre. The service will integrate closely with existing city centre teams to deliver a complementary offer, working together to bring more benefits to the day to day management of Sheffield city centre.”

The BID Buddies will be out on Sheffield’s streets seven days week. If you see them, say hello!

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