Residents, workers and visitors are set to benefit from further investment in keeping Hull city centre free of graffiti as part of a joint commitment by HullBID and the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner.
Kathryn Shillito, the executive director of HullBID, confirmed that funding from the PCC would be used to improve the equipment used for removing graffiti and for clearing the streets and doorways of mess and waste,
Ms Shillito added that she also intended to upgrade the van used by the HullBID team to support the cleaning programme and to deliver equipment such as gazebos to businesses and other organisations presenting events. In addition funds will go towards creating a new event designed to support businesses by attracting visitors into the city centre.
The investment package was announced after Jonathan Evison, the PCC for Humberside, urged businesses to support HullBID as it faces a renewal ballot.
To continue its work, HullBID must secure a simple majority of votes and rateable values from the 840 businesses and other organisations which form its membership in the ballot, which closes at 5pm on Thursday, September 23.
If HullBID falls short of the target it will be wound up and will end its programme of improvements to safety and security, cleanliness, communication and the general business environment.
Ms Shillito said: “We hope very much that businesses will recognise the value of our work and vote for us to continue to provide these essential services for another five-year term, and we are extremely grateful to the PCC for his commitment to provide financial support which will help us to make immediate improvements.
“Martin Foster [left], our cleaning and maintenance operative, is well known to businesses throughout the city centre for his early starts, up before the birds and working hard to clean the worst of the overnight mess around the city centre in readiness for people arriving to start their day.
“Over the years he has removed thousands of graffiti tags and he daily cleans up waste and mess, including hypodermic needles left by unwelcome overnight visitors in doorways and alleys.
“He recently jet-sprayed outside pavements in preparation for many of our bars reopening, and helped to bring back to life old town streets that had become dirty and stained.
“But the jet-washing equipment was acquired some time ago and we need to upgrade it, and we need a more eco-efficient van with greater capacity to transport Martin’s equipment around the city centre and to help businesses and other organisations which borrow the HullBID gazebos for their own events.
“The funding from the PCC will help us do this and will also enable us to start planning a major event for 2022. We have a strong track record for delivering such major attractions as the Trinity Music Festival, the Yum! Festival of Food and Drink and Hull Street Food Nights. They are proven in terms of bringing people into the city to benefit businesses and they played a part in luring the British Street Food Awards here at the weekend.
“During the pandemic we adapted our ideas to present events which visitors could enjoy within the requirements for social distancing and now we are looking forward to launching something new for 2022.”
In partnership with the PCC’s office and Humberside Police HullBID also ensures businesses benefit from a number of crime prevention activities. It operates the only radio system in the city centre, connecting more than 225 businesses and providing direct access to the police, the HullBID support officers and the Civic 1 CCTV service.
Announcing the funding, Mr Evison said: “HullBID plays a hugely important role in tackling crime in the city centre and in helping to keep the streets safe, clean and welcoming.
“Their work is essential in making the centre a great place to live, work and visit and in attracting the investment to bring better-paid jobs, with the benefits to the wider community which result from that. We would certainly urge businesses to please vote for HullBID because it would be a disaster if it didn’t continue.”