Rochdale BID want to keep you updated with the latest news, information and advice during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please check our website daily for more updates for businesses and website individuals.

Kickstart Scheme Launched

The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.  More details can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme

Employers can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.  Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.  

Funding is available following a successful application process. You can apply here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-grant-through-the-kickstart-scheme

Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If you are unable to offer this many job placements, you can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number.  There’s more information about eligibility to apply for the grant here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-apply-for-a-grant-through-the-kickstart-scheme

If you are successful in an application, the promotional resources are available here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/kickstart-scheme-employer-resources

High Street Task Force - Research shows local high streets being ‘rediscovered’ after COVID-19 lockdown

A major new research study of 154 towns shows that district centres saw a smaller fall in visitors compared to cities, as high streets continue to evolve from retail focus to 'multifunctional' hubs.

The High Streets Task Force analysed footfall from 154 towns and found that 44% provide a wide range of different services to their communities and can be classified as ‘multifunctional’. This type of town has increased by 8% in the last year (Jul 19 - Jun 20) and compares to just 19% of town centres that focus predominantly on ‘comparison retail’ to attract visitors.

Experts at the Task Force, commissioned by Government in 2019 to support the transformation of England’s high streets, say multifunctional towns and districts that serve their local area have fared better during the COVID-19 crisis. From March 1 to June 30 2020, footfall in smaller district centres fell by 34.5%, compared to a drop of 75.9% in larger cities over the same period.

Paul Ambrose, BID Manager, said:

‘This research is good news as our evidence shows that during and after lockdown, Rochdale Town centre has been people’s lifeline, for essential retail and services and as a result footfall has recovered well. 

It is clear to the BID that people are rediscovering Rochdale Town Centre as it evolves into a community hub designed around health, education, culture, housing, leisure, crafts, along with retail’.

If you would like to find out more about the Rochdale BID COVID-19 Recovery Plan, please see here: https://www.rochdalebid.co.uk/Docs/BID-RecoveryPlan-web.pdf

Towns Fund Business Consultation 2020

Last September, Rochdale was named as one of a 101 places in the UK to share in the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, which aims to ‘support towns to build prosperous futures’. Rochdale will benefit from a new ‘Town Deal’, which aims to boost towns through improving transport, broadband connectivity and providing social and cultural infrastructure.

The government chose the boundary for the Town Deal and the area where we can spend the money, this includes Rochdale Town Centre.

We need your input to help us to access up to £25m in government investment and ensure that the vision is shaped and supported by everyone who lives, works and visits the borough.

The first public consultation is running from 31st August and ends on Midnight 14th September 2020.

Two surveys are available – seeking to establish the views of the general public and one specifically for businesses.

We want to find out what you use it for and where you would like to see improvements and what you see as the priorities for investment.

To have your say all you need to do is fill in the short survey below.


Eat Out to Help Out - a success! 

The discount scheme encouraging diners to bars and restaurants in August has boosted footfall to Rochdale’s town centre streets. Footfall data shows the discount scheme helped the town centre see it’s largest level of footfall since lockdown began in March 2020.

The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme ran from 3 – 31 August and saw donors receive a 50% discount from their bill at participating restaurants.

Paul Ambrose, BID Manager said:

‘The scheme has provided a much needed boost for both Rochdale’s growing hospitality sector, but also for the town itself. The hard work isn’t over, however, and as the scheme has now ended we’re looking at how we can continue to support our retail and hospitality businesses. The sector has continued to come to us with their concerns and we will continue to lobby on their behalf, locally, regionally and nationally to ensure they get the help they need to survive.

Heart of the town project

Who says you can't dance and socially distance?

Last month we had the amazing Turners Dance Studios at the Heart of the Town in Rochdale Memorial Gardens for some high octane moves!.

The video of Turners Dance school performing in the hearts can be viewed here:


Our hearts ensured households or support bubble could maintain the government advised minimum distance while still enjoying the outdoors.

Useful Links

COVID-19: what you need to do


Support for businesses and employers during coronavirus (COVID-19)


General guidance for employees during coronavirus (COVID-19)


COVID-19: guidance for food businesses on coronavirus


If you have any queries regarding the support which his currently being offered, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07811 278517.

Paul Ambrose

BID Manager






03 Sep 2020