By Claire West

Businesses on Brackmills Industrial Estate are celebrating after being recognised for their commitment to ‘Community Investment’ at last night’s (Nov 18) 2010 Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards.

The estate was delighted to be a finalist at the coveted awards - just 18 months after becoming Northampton’s very first Business Improvement District (BID), an initiative which sees over 150 resident companies pay a small levy into a collective pot which is earmarked solely for estate improvement and investment.

Chairman of the Brackmills BID Board, John Corrigan, explained: “Brackmills is so much more than just a place of work and as a community of businesses we are delighted to be recognised at these awards in recognition of our commitment to each other, to the county and to the region as a whole.

“Since becoming a Business Improvement District the estate has adopted a new way of working, based on corporate co-operation, community spirit and a determination to re-establish ourselves as the UK’s premier business and logistics park.

“Out strapline is ‘businesses working for businesses’ and by pooling resources and business expertise we are able to tackle issues that affect us all — everything from the joint purchasing of utilities to improved communications which enables us to share good practice and improvement ideas.”

The Board’s Deputy Chair, John Harley, added “We’re obviously disappointed not to have won the category but to be recognised in this way and to be able to spread the word of our achievements is wonderful and a massive boost to all those involved. With big plans for the estate in the coming months we’re very excited about what the future holds — and with that, many awards to be won!”

Since becoming a Business Improvement District the Northampton estate, which is strategically located close to junction 15 of the M1, has seen dramatic improvements — with many more in the pipeline:

•Crime has fallen by nearly a half, with an investment in CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology creating a safer and more secure estate.

•Navigation and traffic flow has improved - with enforced parking restrictions ensuring safety and ease of access to site entrances and exits, the launch of an online car sharing facility and an area travel plan for all who work on the estate.

•The estate’s new website has put Brackmills on the UK map, with all businesses benefiting from individual online profiles, as well as an online warehouse space and trailer sharing brokerage.

•Vacancy levels have fallen.

•In preparation for the snow £10,000 has been earmarked for gritting - this will be in addition to the council’s annual baseline gritting.

John Corrigan added: “Brackmills already has one of the highest concentrations of top level brands found in any business and logistic park in the country. With over 11,500 people working here, our 700 acre estate is already home to a range of companies — including logistics and distribution, manufacturing, financial services and trade counter operations.

“Our commitment to growth and investment and our passion and energy as a community of businesses means Brackmills is well on its way to becoming the UK’s number one business and logistic parks to invest and do business in.”

For more details log on to www.brackmillsindustrialestate.co.uk