CityCo Annual Report: 2019/20

CityCo is the City Centre Management Company. Our focus is to enhance growth by bringing businesses from all sectors together with public agencies: to support the vibrancy and resilience of our city.

CityCo membership means you are part of the evolving story of Manchester as a place to invest, work, visit and live.

We help our wide network of Manchester and Salford businesses to have their opinion heard, expand activities and connect with the right people at the right time.

To support our networks, we work in close partnership with public partners Manchester City CouncilTransport for Greater ManchesterGreater Manchester PoliceMarketing ManchesterGreater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester’s homelessness charity network Street Support and other statutory bodies.

2019 in Focus: Better Business

Whether via sharing information, street or security assistance, events or promotions, we continued to help the city work for you.

CityCo Board

CityCo Services

  • Operational Support
  • City Forums and Lobbying
  • Business Crime Reduction
  • Business Briefings and Training
  • City Intelligence
  • Corporate Events
  • Public Events & Festivals

Meeting the Right People

The Board met regularly and business interests were represented at a whole range of city committees and groups attended and/or led by public sector agencies.

  • BCRP City Centre Intelligence Briefings
  • CityCo Board
  • Greengate Action Group
  • Manchester Arndale Tenants Security Meeting
  • Oxford Road Security & Environmental Action Group
  • Piccadilly Basin Action Group
  • Piccadilly Hoteliers Group (online group)
  • Piccadilly Security Group
  • Petersfield Operations Group (including Peter Street Sub-Group)
  • Salford Hoteliers Group (online group)
  • Integrated Neighbourhood Management
  • Manchester BID Board
  • Manchester BID Working Groups (Big Stores, F&B, Jewellery, Financial Services, Events, Finance)
  • Manchester Homeless Partnership (including Big Change MCR)
  • Manchester Hoteliers Association
  • Manchester Joint Action Group
  • Manchester City Council Ward Co-ordination
  • Manchester Water Safety Partnership
  • Medieval Quarter Forum
  • Nature’s Quarter Forum (formally Northern Quarter Small Business Forum)
  • Our Manchester Forum
  • Pub and Club Network
  • Safety Advisory Committee
  • TfGM Event Planning Group
  • The Manchester Food Board
  • Village Action Group

On the Ground

Operational and Public Realm Support

We had more than 500 meetings with businesses and public sector partners to support on a whole range of neighbourhood issues. We brought key people together and helped businesses to find practical solutions.

We tackled street concerns outside business premises, advised on security protocols, managed repair and maintenance issues, provided intelligence to enforcement and out-of-hours neighbourhood teams, advised on commercial waste, organised cleansing, removed needles and street detritus, reported on the impact of transport works, delivered tabletop training on counter terrorism awareness, protests and urban resilience and guided members on business continuity.

Action on Urban Exploring

We worked with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour teams to raise awareness of roof trespassing among members.

We delivered workshops, monitored the situation, shared intelligence, issued warnings and alerted businesses if their buildings were compromised. Our partnership approach included protocols around juvenile safeguarding and other civil tools to help reduce urban exploration.

Action on Street Vulnerability

Helping people who sleep rough on Manchester’s streets remains a complex and challenging issue. CityCo/BID continued to sit on The Manchester Homelessness Partnership board. The MHP brings together charities, authorities, service providers, businesses and people with personal insight into homelessness to promote positive change.

Projects included refreshed Big Change MCR materials and updates to the Street Support app that signposts people to donate time, money or needed items.

We also assisted with the St John’s Homelessness Initiative – a joint commitment from all organisations involved in the new neighbourhood to end homelessness through inclusive employment, awareness-raising and fundraising.

Business Crime Reduction Partnership

We worked with Greater Manchester Police, Manchester Licensing Units and Anti-Social Behaviour teams to reduce crime through the BCRP’s offender management system.

BCRP members were assisted through active reporting, real-time intelligence, expert training and access to security radios (StoreNet/NiteNet).

3124 incidents were recorded generating 1606 individuals of interest, 206 exclusion notices and 1000 warning letters. All resulted in a range of actions including the issue of criminal Behaviour Orders and injunctions to protect our business community.

We delivered 57 security training sessions on reducing loss from theft, credit card fraud, counterfeit currency and conflict management.

Keep Manchester Tidy

In support of Manchester’s clean-green agenda, we ran cleaning drives with volunteers from businesses around the central retail area, Oxford Road and Piccadilly.

We delivered environmental audits of city neighourhoods and canals, organised bespoke cleaning services through partners Biffa and Ramora and led training workshops around the safe disposal of sharps.

All was supported by a jet wash of the main retail streets (Market Street, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Exchange Square) that covered 20,280 sq.m. and removed 608,400 pieces of chewing gum.

Commercial Waste Improvement Scheme

In response to ‘GM Clean Air’ proposals, we worked with partners Transport for Greater Manchester and Manchester City Council to lead on the selection of a preferred Commercial Waste supplier for a pilot scheme around King Street and St Ann’s.

North West firm B&M Waste Services was appointed. The air-quality initiative is now underway to reduce the number of waste collection vehicles in the area, increase route efficiencies, reduce polluting emissions and improve the environment.

The scheme should lead to a Manchester streetscape that is cleaner and more attractive for the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors.

In the Know

Urban Resilience Support

We are here to ensure members receive timely, clear and measured information from reliable sources.

Our continuity and crisis communications come into play in a variety of situations and in 2019 we disseminated intel during and following Extinction Rebellion, Arndale and public realm security incidents.

We supported national Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) training and delivered tabletop sessions on critical events such as fire, flooding, firearms and marauding weapons attacks, modern slavery and terrorism.

We also spoke about our expertise and city learnings at national Counter-Terrorism Conferences in London and at The Bridgewater Hall.

City Developments Report

We continued to provide access to various strands of intelligence data. We shared footfall trends from our Springboard UK cameras, offered sales-reporting and in partnership with UrbInfo, provided tailored versions of our Property Developments Map.

We also added to mapping resources by including in-build and future hotel developments, student flats, residential and other property schemes.

Corporate Events

Our networking events are an opportunity to meet with fellow CityCo members. The programme includes CitySession talks, First Thursday briefings, CityTours, The PA Network showcases and Private Dinners for cross-sector discussion.

In 2019 we looked at the ‘Night-Time Economy’, ‘Future of Office Working’, ‘Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter’ and ‘St. John’s Homelessness Initiative’.

And we hosted our second ‘Big City BIDs’ Conference.

We also provided platforms for TfGM, Council and Police to share updates and held behind-the-scenes tours of NOMA, St John’s and Stock Exchange Hotel.

Our Annual Lunch was held at Manchester Central and welcomed 75 executive members.

Bringing the Streets to Life

CityCo runs the city’s Business Improvement District. The BID brings together 400 leading retail and restaurant brands across the central shopping district.

For our BID events in 2019, we had an even bigger Monster takeover of city rooftops for Halloween thanks to sponsors Manchester Arndale, Helical, Mayfield, Selfridges, House of Fraser, The Printworks, Great Northern, Spinningfields, INNSIDE by Melia Hotel and Property Alliance.

King Street Festival again transformed Manchester’s historic shopping street with VIP activities and alfresco dining. The Manchester Flower Show spread its roots to the top of King Street and brought-in beautiful floral window creations, planted-up cars and live music.

Our annual MCR Student Socials with Manchester Arndale took place in May and September and welcomed tens of thousands to shop.

2019/20 Events

  • MCR Student Socials (Spring and Autumn)
  • The King Street Festival
  • Mystery Shopping Awards
  • Manchester Pride Collaboration
  • Halloween in the City
  • Chinese New Year 2020

Chinese New Year

We worked with the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester, retailers and cultural venues to celebrate Chinese New Year.


  • Full outdoor, digital advertising, social and print media strategy
  • PR including media partnerships with targeted outlets
  • Online portal
  • Priority placements across the site for Chinese New Year including megamenus, inspiration blocks and homepage features
  • Editorial content around events
  • Paid digital advertising across Google and Facebook
  • Organic social campaign across Facebook, Twitter, WeChat and Weibo
  • 17,500 emails sent with Chinese New Year content


Halloween In The City

We worked with Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester, retailers and cultural venues to celebrate Halloween. The seasonal event is now the fastest growing consumer festival in the UK retail calendar.


  • Full outdoor, digital advertising, social and print media strategy delivered by Manchester BID
  • PR including media partnerships with targeted outlets
  • Online portal
  • Priority placements across the site for Halloween including megamenus, inspiration blocks and homepage features
  • Editorial content around the events
  • Paid digital advertising campaign across across Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
  • Organic social campaign across Facebook, Twitter, WeChat and Weibo
  • 17,000 emails sent with Halloween content


Tourist Board Partnership

The BID continued its ongoing partnership with Marketing Manchester to expand the reach of city centre campaigns to national and international visitors.

2019 Halloween in the City – Digital support campaign

  • 202,313 page views to campaign pages
  • +3 million paid digital impressions driving 55,00 clicks to Halloween in the City portal
  • 150,000 organic social media impressions

2020 Chinese New Year – Digital support campaign

  • 174,000 page views to campaign pages
  • 1.5 million impressions driving 53,000 clicks to Chinese New Year portal
  • 104,000 organic social media impressions

Retail and City Centre Photo and Film Content Development

City Hosts

The BID’s City Hosts moved across to CityCo from original management company The Welcome People in 2019, and continued to welcome thousands of visitors to the central retail area.

The team reported daily on operational, security and street issues and have been your point of contact to the office team.

New Events Venue at Lloyds House

We launched a brand new events space for central Manchester at our new 2019 office space in Lloyds House.

The three spaces: The Shipping Office, The Cotton Room and The Sorting Room were put straight to good use, hosting our own First Thursdays and public sector partner briefings – and client conferences, showcases, presentations, training sessions and sales roadshows.

We were glad to welcome a whole range of leading businesses to the venue including Selfridges, M&S, British Cycling and The Home Office.

CityCo 2019/20 Finances

Total Income Percentage of total income Figures
Members Contributions 43% 348,000
MCC Contribution 23% 189,000
BCRP members contribution 18% 141,206
Earned income 16% 126,348
Total costs Percentage of total costs
Operations support and staffing 22.98% 180,214
Membership support and staffing 25.14% 197,162
Overheads 28.85% 226,312
BCRP licences, system support, staffing 23.03% 180,655

Keeping in Touch

The CityCo team is led by Chief Exec Vaughan Allen and we work across Business Crime, Corporate Events, Finance, Marketing, BID Projects, Operations and Venue Hire.

We share news, resources, services and how to participate in activities via email newsletters, on our website and via @CityCo social media. We also publish weekly and monthly footfall and sales trends online.

Do keep an eye on all of the channels to stay in the loop.
0161 838 3250

Manchester BID & CityCo
Top Floor, Lloyds House
22 Lloyd Street
M2 5WA