Businesses to vote on Peterborough BID plan in just weeks after three years wait

Businesses in Peterborough are finally getting ready to vote on a three years old plan to create a Business Improvement District in the city.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 8:15 am
The BID area.

Some 419 businesses in a defined area of the city centre will be eligible to vote on the BID proposals from September 21.

Ballots will be issued from September 21 and voting will close on October 21.

Plans for the BID were first proposed about three years ago and hopes of holding an earlier ballot were scuppered by Covid-19 and repeat lockdowns.

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All business rate payers valued at £15,000 and above in the BID area will get a vote in the next few weeks and if the project is approved will pay a levy of 1.5 per cent of their rateable value to fund the BID’s works.

But for the BID to be established, the plans must secure both a majority of votes in favour and the total rateable value business voting in favour must be greater than those voting against.

If approved the BID, which covers an area from the train station to just beyond the cathedral and between Fletton Quays and the Broadway, is expected to generate £1.8 million over five years to help enhance the city centre.

Mark Broadhead, chairman of Peterborough Positive, which is overseeing the BID, said: “A BID would be an excellent addition to our city centre.

“BIDs are a proven model in encouraging businesses to work together in delivering projects and improvements that will benefit all city centre users.”

According to the BID prospectus, it is expected to raise £394,000 in the first year with that figure growing to £426,000 by its fifth year.

It expects operating costs to total about £74,000 to £86,000 a year. Events will cost about £60,000 a year.

Safety, which includes the appointment of street ambassadors, action to cut begging and anti-social behaviour, reduce thefts from shops and other illegal activities plus street dressing from floral displays to creative spaces, will cost about £125,000 year with marketing costs coming in at about £60,000 a year and community work at £35,000 plus a year.

But the BID proposals have triggered some criticism for not generating enough revenue.

Tony Brown chief executive of the newly opened Beales, in Westgate, has said the BID should aim to raise £5 million over five years.