Business Improvement District looks to sow the seeds to put colour back into Peterborough

Business Improvement manager set to be named within a fortnight

By Paul Grinnell
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 3:40 pm

Leaders of Peterborough’s newly created Business Improvement District (BID) are beginning to sow the seeds that could help the city bloom again.

Officials are considering options for overseeing the restoration of floral and shrub plant in the city’s public parks and gardens and roadside planters.

The move comes just days after Peterborough City Council announced that it would no longer be planting flowers in a bid to save £50,000 per year as part of its ongoing struggle to bridge a £27 million funding gap.

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Mark Broadhead, chairman of Peterborough Positive, which oversees the Peterborough Business Improvement District.

Critics say the action will create a ‘city wthout colour’.

Now leaders of the BID, which will name its new manager within a fortnight, say work has lalready started to tackle the issue.

Mark Broadhead, chairman of Peterborough Positive, which is overseeing the BID, said: “We had shared our concerns with the council about some of the proposals for the city centre.

"Now we have started discussions to see what it might be possible for us to do.

"I am sure we can do something.

"Improving the environment of the street scene is one of the BID’s key objectives.

But we can't just put in £50,000 – we don’t have the money

“It will have to be some sort of collaboration of partners in the city.”

Mr Broadhead said that it would be one of the key tasks for the new Business Improvement manager to look for other partners to help carry out the work, for instance horticultural societies that might be interested in helping to plant and nurture the city’s floral display.

He added: “But we can’t undermine the expertise that is already here within the council staff. This is an opportunity to bring the experts together to ensure a great outcome.”

The BID plans to name the new Business Improvement manager in the next two weeks. It is understood the manager is a Peterborough person.

The BID officially went into operation in Peterborough on April 1.

The creation of the BID was approved in a vote of 419 businesses with 84 per cent in favour. Businesses will pay a levy of 1.5 per cent of their rateable value which should net the BID £1.8 million over its first five years.

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