THE Liverpool BID Company has joined forces with the Liverpool Comedy Festival to give a dozen city centre workers the experience of a lifetime. Led by comedian and Festival Director, Sam Avery, the ‘office/shop jokers’ will be given a stand-up masterclass over a six week course before taking to the stage during the festival in late September. Participants will learn how to write, develop and deliver their very own comedy routine which they’ll then get to perform at Laughterhouse’s Fenwick Street venue. As part of the unique partnership, 16 businesses can also apply for a “Happy Hour” workshop that focuses on humour, health and wellbeing in the workplace. The BID Company has entered into the partnership as part of a drive to develop a range of tailored business support services. It follows its recent Mystery Shop survey of a record 200 city centre businesses which is aimed at improving levels of customer service in shops, restaurants, bars and hotels. Bill Addy, Chief Executive of Liverpool BID Company, which is also a signatory to the city’s Mental Health Wellbeing Charter, said: ‘’Confidence, happiness and wellbeing in the workplace are hugely important to the success of any business which is why we are offering our BID members this amazing opportunity to work with the Liverpool Comedy Festival. We are always looking at ways to developing programmes for staff to benefit from, such as Customer Service through the Mystery Shop programme, and we are really look forward to the results of this one!’’ Sam Avery said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the BID Company on this exciting project. We’ve delivered programmes like this for 14 years and the journey that participants go on between the first week and the show is incredible – they also often tell us how the experience has helped them in their personal and professional lives.” Ian Strettle, Chairman of City Central BID and Centre Manager at Clayton Square Shopping Centre, added: ‘‘I’m sure this Comedy programme will be a huge hit and provide businesses with a refreshing approach in motivating their staff and developing their team spirit. The Liverpool Comedy Festival is a great highlight in the city’s cultural calendar and we’re delighted to be putting the businesses community in the spotlight – if only for one night!’’ The weekly Stand Up sessions are to be held above the BID Company’s office on Lord Street in Hope St Ltd’s rehearsal space. They’ll run till 6.30pm and are to begin at the end of August. Those would like to take part in the Stand Up course or would like their staff to participate in a “Happy Hour” workshop, please email email@example.com Deadline for applications is Monday, 18 July.