Leading retailer warns £1.7 million generating Peterborough BID plan should raise more money
A leading business owner has criticised the size of the proposed Peterborough BID area and the funds it is expected to generate.
Tony Brown, chief executive of the newly opened Beales department store in Westgate and former chairman of Bournemouth BID says the area to be covered by the Business Improvement District should be expanded to include more of the city’s offices.
He also says for the BID to really make an impact it should generate £5 million over five years rather than the expected £1.7 million.
But the current BID proposals have been defended by Mark Broadhead, chairman of Peterborough Positive, which is overseeing the BID.
Mr Brown said: “If Peterborough Positive really wants to do something serious for the city centre it should be generating £5 million over the five years.
“The area of the BID should also be widened to include more of the offices, which have the highest rateable value.”
But Mr Broadhead said the size of the BID area, and the levy to be paid by the 400 businesses within its boundaries are just right for the moment.
He said: “The priority is the vote in October when businesses will decide if they want a Business Improvement District set up.
“To generate the extra money could see the levy pushed up to three per cent which would be unprecedented in BID history.”
But Mr Broadhead said it was hoped the BID could be extended in size in five years’ time when another vote would have to take place.
He said that Peterborough’s planned Business Improvement District could be expanded to include more companies as the city grows in size.
Developments from Peterborough’s university to the long awaited North Westgate and Station Quarter currently sit on the edge of the proposed BID area.
But business leaders hope that in years to come businesses in the new development areas will opt to join the BID, which is expected to help breathe new life into the city centre.
Peterborough’s planned Business Improvement District covers an area from the train station to just beyond the cathedral and between Fletton Quays and the Broadway.
It is home to about 485 businesses which will all get one vote in the ballot in October to set up the BID. To be successful, there must be a simple majority both in the number of votes cast and in rateable value of votes cast.