06 Aug 2021

Bira welcomes new partnerships with Metro Mayors

Bira has welcomed new partnerships with Englands Metro Mayors.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, has been meeting with some of the mayors to discuss new ways of supporting independent retailers post-pandemic.

So far, he has been part of discussions with teams from the mayoral offices of Birmingham, Liverpool, North of Tyneside and Cambridge/Peterborough, with further meetings in the pipeline.

He said: "The meetings have been very positive with all the Metro Mayors confirming their commitment to independent retailers and high streets in general. All of the stated that they wanted to see a vibrant independent retail sector, recognising the importance of these shops to local communities."

Some of the ideas from the metropolitan areas include:

  • Support for reforms to business rates to reduce the burden on smaller shops
  • Funding available to improve the local economic activity. This funding will support:
  1. Activities to generate a stronger visitor economy
  2. Growing the independent retail sector with funding for growth and skills
  3. Partnerships to develop stronger high streets
  4. Innovation – businesses trying to do something different in their business may qualify for funding support
  5. Activities with the LEPs (Local Enterprise Partnerhips)

Andrew added: "We already do a lot of work with central and local governments in promoting the importance of independent shops to the high street, and it was reassuring to hear that the metropolitan area and mayors are aligned with Bira.

"There is no doubt that people in authority want to see independents succeed and it is great to see funding being made available for innovation, activities and growth. I would urge all retailers to check the relevant websites to see if they can access this funding.”

Andrew will be meeting with the Dan Norris, West of England Metro Mayor on Wednesday (August 11, 2021) during a trip to the region, where he will also visit a number of Bira members. 

The Metro Mayor of North of Tyne Jamie Driscoll is keen to talk to independent retailers in the area. If you are interested in being part of the round table dicussion, email 

Do you have an issue you'd like to raise with your Metro Mayor? Email 

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