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BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP TO PUSH MAJOR TOWN CENTRE IMPROVEMENT PLANS
The Cheltenham Business Partnership is delighted to announce that it is pressing ahead with plans to explore the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) in the town centre.
The decision follows consultation with a wide range of town centre businesses to assess their appetite for developing a programme of major improvements aimed at enhancing business performance. Almost a hundred businesses responded to a survey in which they were asked to identify the priority projects which they consider would boost trade and to outline whether they would support the creation of a BID to achieve this.
Business Improvement Districts are considered to be the leading model of management and development of town and city centres with almost 200 currently operating across the United Kingdom. Businesses located in the BID area are required to pay a small additional sum based on their Business Rates to fund agreed improvements.
Of the 96 responses received, 83% were in favour of the BID concept being tested by a business ballot and identified that projects should focus on 1) Marketing & promotion 2) Parking incentives 3) Further town centre events 4) More parking spaces 5) Public realm improvements and 6) Signage.
If approved, a Cheltenham BID would generate upwards of £350,000 per year to promote and add to the vitality of the town, thus increasing footfall and business success within the BID location.
The next step will involve the Cheltenham Business Partnership creating a group of town centre representatives to develop a draft BID Business Plan by autumn of this year.
Terri Brewster, Chair of the Cheltenham Business Partnership, which jointly commissioned the Cheltenham BID Feasibility Project, said:
“We believe that a BID could bring a new dynamic to Cheltenham in terms of promoting the town and helping to improve the performance of businesses of all kinds.
“We would especially like to thank all the businesses who contributed to the survey and were struck by the enthusiasm displayed for working together on projects that matter to business. We are looking forward to developing a business plan that will add real value to the town.”
Kevan Blackadder, manager of the Cheltenham Business Partnership, said:
“I’m particularly excited at the opportunities a BID could offer to the town’s retailers. Cheltenham continues to do well as a retail centre but could perform even better. A BID creates the opportunity for a town’s businesses to be directly involved in the decision making and I’m sure many will want to embrace that opportunity.”
A copy of the feasibility study is available at www.cheltenhambp.org.uk/news