Council cabinet set to back BID’s effort to secure third term

Council cabinet set to back BID’s effort to secure third term

Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID) putting itself forward for a fresh term – from 2024 to 2029.

It would be the third term for the group, which is paid for through a levy on businesses, voluntary contributions and grant funding.

Throughout its previous terms money has been used to pay for and contribute to a host of initiatives in the town, from promotional events such as the current giant Easter Egg trail, to the Shrewsbury Rangers scheme, which was set up in response to concerns about anti-social behaviour and crime.

Shropshire Council’s cabinet is being asked to endorse the draft business plan for the term, and a report prepared for councillors to be discussed on Wednesday warns that without it the town could lose out on as much as £1.5m of funding.

The next term will be decided by a ballot of businesses – those which have a rateable value of £12,000 or over and are mandated to pay the 1.58 per cent levy to the BID.

The draft business plan says the BID expects to have a total income of just over £3m over the next five years – £1.79m from the levy, £163k from voluntary contributions, and £1.05m from match funding.

The ballot will take place from June 8 to July 6, with a result to be announced on July 7.

The BID will get a fresh term if a simple majority vote in favour – and those voting in favour represent the majority of rateable value of those voting.

Because Shropshire Council owns a number of business properties in Shrewsbury it will have 24 votes in the ballot.

The report prepared for the council’s cabinet recommends members vote in favour of casting the ballots for the new BID term, and warns of the potential impact on Shrewsbury of the vote being lost.

It states: “The most significant risk faced is if Shrewsbury BID is not successful in their renewal Shrewsbury would lose investment of more than £1.5m million from 2024 onwards, not including any additional external funding the BID may also be able to leverage over this period.

“Without Shrewsbury BID there would be a significant loss of momentum and activity in the town centre. During its second five year term, the BID has built on the successes of its first term, achieving a great deal against its key project themes; promoting and animating, supporting and enhancing and representing and influencing, together with the strategic development work through their role in the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, alongside Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council.

“Shrewsbury continues to face increasing competition from nearby towns and cities, retail parks and the internet. Shrewsbury BID has made significant achievements in its first two terms but for the town to remain competitive it needs to continue to deliver projects which attract more people to the town, improves the experience for visitors and supports the business community on key strategic and operational matters.”

Source By https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/business/2023/04/12/council-cabinet-set-to-back-bids-effort-to-secure-third-term/