Weston Businesses asked to have their say on renewal of Business Improvement District

Weston-super-Mare’s Business Improvement District (BID) has today launched the consultation phase of a renewal campaign by asking businesses to give their views on the first BID term and to help steer a renewed BID by suggesting future priorities and initiatives.

The consultation exercise, running from May to July includes a questionnaire, two consultation events being held on the 14 June (2pm – 3:30pm) and 23 June (6pm – 7:30pm) at the Grand Pier, face-to-face meetings with the BID team as well as a dedicated website being launched today to include up to date information on the consultation and BID renewal process.

Weston’s Business Improvement District (BID), which was devised and voted for by Weston’s businesses to increase and strengthen the town’s economy, began work in April 2012. Weston BID announced the consultation activity as part of its ‘Back the BID Renewal’ campaign to extend the BID for a further five years when it ends in March 2017.

Steve Townsend, Town Centre Manager, said: “Weston BID ensures town centre businesses are represented and have a genuine voice in issues affecting the area and shaping the future of the town centre. We are asking all businesses in the BID area to tell us what their priorities are for improving the area even further to include in the new BID Business Plan.

“In the last four years Weston BID has attracted thousands of visitors to the town through many special events, reduced shop theft for many businesses by up to 30% 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 three-times Gold Winners of Britain in Bloom, and a whole lot more.”

“I would urge businesses to give us their views on the projects we have delivered and what they want to see for the next five years in order that we can really build on our progress to date.”

Following the consultation exercise the Weston BID team will create a business plan that will reflect the views and priorities of those who will vote and pay for it. This plan will be delivered to all eligible businesses in the BID area. The BID Team is seeking strong support for the new BID in a ballot to be held in November this year.

Paul Batts, Weston BID Chairman added: ” There is no doubt that Weston BID has contributed towards improving conditions in Weston town centre. Weston is on the up and the next few years are crucial to continuing to improve the Weston offering for locals and visitors alike.”

“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. These range from street wardens that help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour to clean ups of fly-tipped waste and graffiti, a comprehensive marketing and events programme under the Love Weston brand, along with enhanced town access, and assistance with reducing business costs.”

“All of this will end in March next year unless we vote for the new BID. I would encourage all businesses to contribute to the consultation process and strongly recommend them to vote ‘yes’ for a five-year BID renewal.”

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