Councillors are being asked to approve the next stages in a process to develop a Business Improvement District (BID) to support the drive for economic growth in Burnley town centre.
BIDs are business-led partnerships which are created to deliver additional projects and services to benefit businesses in an area for a limited period, usually five years. A small levy is charged to all businesses in that area to fund the initiatives, typically between one to two per cent a business’s rateable value. A BID can only be set up following a successful ballot of businesses in that area.
Consultation around a proposal for a BID in Burnley town centre has been carried out over the last few months by an independent consultant, and found that two out of every three businesses who responded were in favour of the idea, with the remaining third wanting more information. Only three businesses responding to the consultation were against the proposal.
A feasibility study produced and based on this consultation has recommended that work be carried out to further develop a BID in Burnley town centre given the level of support shown by businesses.
This work would include setting up a business-led BID Steering Group to drive the process and develop a business plan setting out what the BID could achieve to benefit businesses in the town centre, as well as setting a proposed level of levy and who would be eligible to contribute.
Councillor Sue Graham, the council's executive member for regeneration and business growth, said: "Burnley Council works closely with businesses across the borough to support economic growth.
“This scheme will help further support Burnley town centre businesses by funding initiatives that will bring in more shoppers and support those businesses to grow.
“This is about businesses, supported by the council, driving forward the town centre economy.”
Brian Hobbs, chair of Burnley & District Chamber of Trade, added “Developing a Burnley town centre BID is an opportunity for businesses to work together to create a more vibrant and dymamic town centre and support the further economic growth and development of Burnley."
A report to Burnley Council’s executive, which meets on 5th June, recommends that work be carried out to develop a Burnley town centre BID and that a consultant is appointed to support the process.
Business Improvement Districts were first developed in the UK in 2004. There are now 300 established BIDs, including in Blackburn and Manchester.