Newport Now is the city centre’s Business Improvement District – a private company funded and run by businesses with the aim of making the city centre a better place in which to shop, live and work.

One of hundreds of BIDs around the UK, Newport Now has been in operation since 2015 following a successful ballot of businesses in the city centre.

Funded by a small levy on business rates, Newport Now is run by a board of directors made up of people who either own or run businesses in the city centre.

BID chairman Alan Edwards, for instance, runs a fish and chip shop and other board members include retailers, solicitors, property developers, financial advisors and members of community groups.

The BID area includes more than 400 businesses of varying sizes and sectors, and it’s important to point out the smallest pay no Levy but still benefit from BID activities.

The BID Levy provides Newport Now with an annual budget of around £250,000. This money is used to deliver the BID’s five-year business plan, approved by city centre businesses during the 2014 ballot.

The Business Improvement DistrictNewportNow is bringing a new lease of life to the city centre, working since 2015 to add to the efforts of local authorities and keep our businesses growing strong BID activities are intended to be additional to those provided by statutory authorities, such as the council and the police, in the city centre.

The BID is not here to do things instead of the local authorities. Its role is to add to what they do.

On the page opposite you can see the BID’s annual Countdown to Christmas event promoted. The November 17 event takes place from 12pm to 5.30pm and includes live music, fairground rides, the traditional switching on of Newport’s Christmas lights, and ends with a spectacular firework display.

Other highlights for the Christmas period organised by the BID this year include a month-long German Christmas market and a Living Advent
Calendar which will see businesses staging festive performances every day from December 1-24.

Last December, Newport Now launched its gift card scheme. The BID’s gift cards can only be spent in Newport city centre at more than 80 outlets ranging from major department stores to traditional pubs. The perfect Christmas present, the gift card keeps the Newport pound in Newport.

During 2018, Newport Now joined forces with charities The Wallich and  Eden Gate to launch Street SupPORT – a homelessness fund for Newport.

Donations of £3 a time to the fund can be made via contactless points in the shop windows of Liverton Opticians, Specsavers and HPJV Solicitors, or by texting PORT 24 £3 to 70070.

All donations are split equally to help The Wallich run a day centre and Eden Gate run a night shelter. NewportNow also provides shopfront improvement grants to BID Levy payers, and helps them save money
on telecoms, energy and merchant fees.

The BID finances all members to join the Newport Business Against Crime Partnership and employs two Ambassadors who are on duty seven days a week providing a reassuring presence in the city centre while also helping visitors.

Newport Now also organises or sponsors a series of city centre events during the year, including Record Store Day, the Festival of Classics vintage car rally, the Big Splash, the Food Festival, the Wales Marathon, the Urban Beach and Shop Local Saturday.

More details of the BID’s activities are available on the website.