Businesses back the BID ballot in Weston-super-Mare

Businesses in Weston-super-Mare’s Business Improvement District (BID) are urging fellow local businesses to look out for their ballot papers and post back promptly with a ‘yes’ vote, in order to continue with the BID for a further five years.

Members of the business community, including a greengrocer from Gardeners Patch, a butcher from Palmers and other independent local business turned out in Grove Village on the day when ballot papers started to be received throughout the BID area.

Business owners from Fleece from Leece, The Food Den and Scatterbox also joined in to pledge their support, alongside BID Chairman, Paul Batts from Outdoors and Active and Steve Townsend, the BID and Town Centre Manager for Weston.

Weston’s current Business Improvement District (BID), which started in April 2012, was devised and voted for by Weston’s businesses to increase and strengthen the town’s economy; and will come to an end in March 2017.

A new five-year business plan was hand delivered by members of the BID team and street wardens to all BID area businesses during October 2016. The business plan reflects the views and priorities of local businesses in Weston-super-Mare. Businesses will have until December 7th to cast their votes by post and have the final say on whether the business-led and business-funded initiative goes ahead.

Paul Batts, Chairman of Weston BID said:  “The Business Improvement District team has achieved a great deal since 2012, and I hope we can look forward to the challenges of the next five years. Weston is improving greatly and has a lot to look forward to over the next few years, and it is vital that we are here to play our part in making it a great town to work and live in.

“I believe that without the BID, the town would be immeasurably worse off and if it stops at the end of March, the most of what we take for granted now simply wouldn’t happen or if it did to substantially lesser effect.

The Weston BID has invested over £1m directly into the town centre and introduced a variety of initiatives and projects to enhance Weston’s profile and reputation to boost footfall and strengthen the local economy.

In the last four years Weston BID has attracted thousands of visitors to the town through many special events, reduced shop theft by 22% year on year, helped keep children safe through the child safe wristband scheme, cleared tonnes of rubbish, jet washed two acres of the town centre each year and been five-times Gold Winners of Britain in Bloom, and a whole lot more.

Rob Field, from Atlantic Fish Bar & Restaurant added “It is so important to remember that unless we vote ‘yes’ for the BID to continue for another five years, all of the services and funding provided by the BID will stop, including the high profile street warden service, which is vital in maintaining a safe and secure town centre. I would encourage all businesses to vote ‘yes’ for a five-year BID renewal when they receive their ballot papers.”

Ballot papers for Weston BID are currently being sent to all businesses with a rateable value of £7,500 or over.  All postal votes must be received by 7th December, with results announced on whether the BID renewal has been successful on the 8th December this year. If Weston BID are successful with gaining a ‘yes’ vote the Weston BID 2 will commence on the 3rd April 2017 until the end of March 2022.

Full details of the BID renewal process and a copy of the new Business Plan can be found on the website www.westonbid.co.uk.

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