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Business Improvement District planned for Newtown

Created on 04/10/2018 @ 15:57
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A Business Improvement District (BID) could be established in Newtown.

A BID is a business-led and business-funded initiative formed to improve a defined commercial area.

Businesses decide how the money raised is spent to help support the vitality of their trading environment and to increase footfall and spend.

Powys County Council is to consider the feasibility of a BID being established in Newtown and Brecon.

"BIDs bring together businesses and other stakeholders in a defined geographical area, so they can develop projects and activities which support economic regeneration and benefit the trading environment within the boundary of a commercial area," states a report by Councillor Martin Weale, Portfolio Holder for Economy and Planning.

"Typically, BIDs focus on town centres, although they are not confined to these areas, and may cover for example industrial areas or tourism destinations. The key feature of the BID model is the way that it generates a reliable revenue stream.

"Businesses and organisations pay an annual levy usually between 1.25-1.5% of the rateable value of their premises. As far as possible this cost would be off-set by the development of financial savings to businesses by for example joint purchasing of energy deals.

"The funding raised is used in the specified area to make the trading area more profitable for businesses."

A council committee meeting on Tuesday will consider the proposal.

It has been put forward by the Chamber of Trade and Going Green for a Living Community Land Trust, with support from some businesses and the town council.

The Land Trust has agreed to underwrite the match funding requirement.

The reports adds: "The process of developing a BID involves initial feasibility work followed by widespread consultation with businesses to ascertain what improvements they would want and may be prepared to pay for. 

"All BIDs have a clear and focused role contained within a Business Plan which is developed by the business community. Funding raised by a BID cannot be used to substitute the statutory activity of the Council. Activities tend to include measures to increase footfall, spend and economic vitality such as:

• Business cost reduction/collective purchasing projects 
• Car parking improvements
• Local priority improvement actions
• Marketing and promotional activities
• Public realm and environmental enhancements • Public event management and development
• Public safety and security initiatives
• Cleansing and waste
• Developing a stronger business community

Photo: Looking towards the town centre from Longbridge Street (Photo ©Owain Betts)

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