Business owners in Brighouse have discussed whether the town should adopt the Business Improvement District (BID) model.
Proposed by The Brighouse Business Initiative, working with other local traders, initial development of a BID is now underway and over the next few weeks businesses in the town centre will be consulted about what changes would benefit them.
The meeting at the Prego restaurant gave all the businesses a chance to hear about what a BID is, why the Brighouse Business Initiative is proposing a BID, and to give some examples of what other BIDs have delivered for their town centres.
A BID is a defined geographical area within which businesses put forward ideas to improve trading conditions, funded by a small levy (typically between 1% and 2%) based on rateable value
These ideas will be developed into a business plan which is then voted on by potential levy payers in the BID area. BID funds are ring-fenced to provide the improvements agreed in the plan. This ensures a sustainable and democratic way of businesses having input as to how their money is spent.
A varied and wide range of businesses attended the event including independent retailers, multi-national retailers, restaurateurs and landlords, alongside those representing professional service industries such as accountancy and law firms.
Those present heard presentations from Anne Colley of the Brighouse Business Initiative, Steven Lord from Arts for Brighouse and from Calderdale Council.
Anne Colley, Chair of the Brighouse Business Initiative, said: “A Business Improvement District presents a great opportunity for businesses to shape the future of our town centre. We think that all the town’s different sectors and our long-standing business community will see the benefit of a BID, because this project is simply ‘by business for business.”
Calderdale Council is supportive of this business led initiative and will help to fund the consultation phase of the process.
Coun Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “A successful Business Improvement District can drive improvements to a town centre, giving businesses a collective voice in how their money is spent.
“Becoming a BID would help to future-proof Brighouse town centre, providing investment opportunities to improve the environment and encouraging visitors to the town.”