Go Forth Stirling BID has commissioned Keep Scotland Beautiful to conduct regular environmental audits of the city centre as part of the organisation’s efforts to improve the local area.
The environmental charity will provide the Go Forth team with an evidence-led baseline report on the environmental quality and cleanliness of the BID (Business Improvement District) zone.
The audit will be designed to measure litter and other environmental quality indicators affecting the city centre’s appearance and find out what visitors think about it.
It will also examine why observed issues are happening and recommend an action plan for improvements.
The move is the latest in a series of measures undertaken by the BID to enhance Stirling’s overall appearance and make the city centre a more welcoming destination for businesses, shoppers and visitors.
It is also a key feature of Stirling’s City Centre strategy, approved by Stirling Council and delivered by a range of partners, to support the city’s growth and development.
Danielle McRorie-Smith, Project Director at Go Forth Stirling, said: “The cleanliness and appearance of the city centre is often mentioned as a key concern of retailers and is something we’ve been tackling for a while now.
“Further improvements to the streetscape are also a key promise of our current five-year business plan.
“We think that facilitating these audits – in addition to the ongoing reporting of issues and efforts to tackle graffiti and litter carried out by our Street Ambassadors – is the best way to improve standards and create a baseline for how we want to see the city look and what actions are required to ensure it is properly taken care of.”
The Keep Scotland Beautiful team will undertake five audits covering different time periods to ensure the most robust data and to allow for effective recommendations for action.
They will be timed to coincide with domestic and commercial waste collection activities and peak footfall in the city centre. They will also assess the situation during weekends and look at both Stirling’s day and night-time economies.
Katie Murray, Environment and Place Manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We know that good quality places are good for people and good for businesses, so we are delighted to support the ambitions of Go Forth Stirling BID by providing an audit of the local environmental quality of the city centre area.
“We will use the data collected to make constructive recommendations which will support Go Forth to drive forward improvements which will make visits to the city centre a more rewarding experience for residents, employees and visitors.”
The report will also feed into an update of the City Centre Maintenance Manual led by Stirling Council.
Stirling Council leader, Cllr Chris Kane, said: “It’s always good to get a fresh perspective on the city centre and when the ideas come with suggested improvements it’s really useful to us.
“We have a great relationship with Go Forth Stirling and Keep Scotland Beautiful and we look forward to working with them on developing the Business Improvement District even further.
“We all need Stirling to be a vibrant, attractive and welcoming destination.”
In addition to the environmental audit, Go Forth’s Street Ambassadors will continue their work cleaning up and improving the look of the city centre by removing tags, graffiti and stickers, collecting litter, carrying out small maintenance jobs and organising regular community clean-up events.
The BID’s shopfront improvement grant scheme also aims to give the city’s environment a boost and enhance Stirling’s overall appearance by offering business owners grants to revitalise their shopfronts.
Ms McRorie-Smith added: “One of our major areas of focus is to create a cleaner, greener and more inviting city centre with the goal of increasing footfall by bringing more visitors into Stirling.
“We hope the Keep Scotland Beautiful audit will help us define baseline standards which will be considered by all the stakeholders responsible for keeping Stirling city centre clean and welcoming.
“We are looking forward to seeing the results and what recommendations for improvements can be taken forward.”
Go Forth Stirling is the city’s BID representing more than 600 business owners with a key objective of increasing visitors to the city and devising initiatives to help make it a more welcoming destination for businesses and shoppers.
For more information, visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk