By Kevin Ward, Newport Now Business Improvement District manager

WHEN businesses in Newport city centre decided to form a Business Improvement District via a ballot in 2014, they voted for the BID to deliver a five-year business plan.

The plan is delivered via three central themes – Welcome to Newport (events to encourage visitors), Future Newport (harnessing digital technology and encouraging collective procurement) and Safe and Secure Newport (finding ways to make the city centre more welcoming and reassuring).

The latter part of the business plan is proving tough to deliver.

We cannot gloss over the facts.

The city centre – like most town and city centres in the UK – faces significant problems with anti-social behaviour, street begging, rough sleepers and illegal parking.

The BID regularly lobbies the police and the city council on these matters.

We fund membership of the Newport Business Against Crime Partnership for all BID members, giving them access to software where intelligence, CCTV stills and other details about crime in the city centre can be shared securely.

BID members also have the option of joining the Town Net radio scheme.

The BID’s ambassadors patrol the city centre from noon to 8pm seven days a week. Their role – as with everything the BID does – is to support to the statutory services provided by the police and the council.

Enforcement of the criminal and civil law in the city centre remains the responsibility of the police and the council. That is not our ambassadors’ job – their role is to support the statutory authorities and to provide a link between BID members and those authorities.

For more information about the BID, contact the Newport Now office at or call him on 07824 472543.