One of the key early action priorities was to improve and enhance the security within the BID Area.
Over the years there have been random acts of vandalism, arson, and anti-social behaviour. There has also historically been a problem with fly-tipping of household and commercial waste.
We know that fear of crime is a barrier to continued and future investment and to recruitment and retention of employees. Leisure users who value and enjoy the superb natural environment also want to feel safe. We want to work closely with Police Scotland in this regard. Our prime objective is to deter crime. Allied to our close working relationship with the police we will also extend the CCTV coverage to all of the BID Area. Where crime does occur we will seek to prosecute (whether for fly-tipping or vandalism) and secure convictions.
Work has begun on this project. Initial discussions have taken place with Planning officials with regard to obtaining necessary permissions and we hope to submit proposals before the end of September. We will update members and interested observers through the web site in the coming weeks
Signage – “There’s Something Happening Here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear” (!)
“What industrial estate is this mate?” Asked the irate van driver the third time round the Estate!
many businesses will have had a similar experience over the years. Our consultation told us that one of the frustrations of staff and business was the lack of signage and identity for Vale of Leven Industrial Estate. Lorries can get to Dumbarton from Serbia and Finland and then get lost on the last mile from the roundabout. Don’t bother trying a Sat Nav.- all you will get are a series of thin lines on a map with no names and no title or reference. The BID will as priority – and in consultation with members, – agree and establish a LARGE SIGN at the entrance to the Estate. This will be at least a small first step in putting our businesses back on the map.
Signage – Its YOUR business!
Putting a BIG sign at the entrance to the estate is only a beginning. It is just as important that once people are on the estate they can easily find the business and unit they are looking for. We want to ensure that each block has simple, discrete signs that indicate the business name and the unit number. This will only be done with each businesses prior approval and written consent. Vacant units can have contact numbers to increase the letting potential. We captured the example illustrated below from another Scottish industrial estate
Street Names: – Where the Streets Have No Names, Where the Streets Have No Names.
No, not the place “high in the desert” celebrated by U2 but the Vale of Leven Industrial Estate
If you are unfortunate enough to require to call 999 (or even 111) one of the first questions you will be asked is: “What Street are you calling from?” You would struggle to answer because, as you may already know, there are NO street names for the roads on the Estate.
We propose that the BID takes early steps in collaboration with the Council to improve this situation. We want to involve everyone on the estate in coming up with suggestions. There are at least two good reasons for adding names to the existing roads:
Firstly, allied to establishing better overall signage and estate identity named roads, illustrated on a large Map Board will assist customers and suppliers find our businesses.
Secondly, we should take this opportunity to choose appropriate names, the right names for our much storied area. This process requires council approval and close working with both the Post Office and the Council to get it right. We hope to be in a position to have new names, selected and approved in line with getting the new signage established. That would be late autumn, end of the calendar year.
Environment – “The Environment is where we live when we step outside our homes”
Vale of Leven Industrial Estate is set within a wonderful natural environment. A key aspect of the BID is to seek to conserve, curate and further enhance the estate’s promise in this regard. We consider the setting a foundation pillar of the BID and a major locational advantage in attracting new occupiers and new builds within the BID Area. In parallel to this we want to ensure that the areas remains very much open to all those who will respect it in their use. One of the main features of estate is that local people relate to it as very much a community resource as well as a location for business and a source of jobs. The DID aims to support and develop both of these propositions.
The Riverside Walk is a good start in this respect. It provides access to a good part of the river side around the estate. We want to explore ways to extend and enhance this beginning. We also want to promote the health and wellbeing of the workers on the estate as well as the leisure users. We will work in partnership with environmental and sports organisations and the health board to explore innovative approaches to this. The intention would be to fund any such developments through access to grants rather than from the BID Levy.
Strathleven House is the signature building on the Vale of Leven Industrial Estate. In many ways we consider it to have iconic status, offering a link to both the historical past and the natural environment. Magnificently restored and curated by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust the ‘House offers business accommodation to small enterprises and adds to the diversity of options available to people wishing to start new businesses or those looking to relocate.
We want to work closely with the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust to better celebrate the history and heritage of the area)to be completed)
Marketing and Promotion
The BID companies recognise the need for a much more coherent approach to the marketing and promotion of the Vale of Leven Industrial Estate. To be truly effective the other steps in the process should be completed first, including the signage, street names, CCTV, and site clean-up. Once these early priorities have been completed we are effectively marketing a “new” and “improved” proposition.
The marketing should take several stages. These include:
Business–to Business – the “Micro-Economy.” We see opportunity for more inter-trading between the companies on site, particularly the potential interactions between the larger busineses and the smaller units. The BID will host an event for all of the member businesses early in 2015 to realise and release this potential.