The cash injection, which would come from the levy paid by businesses in the planned BID area, was named as one of the benefits of the creation of the BID as the campaign to secure support for the venture was stepped up.
A timetable for the creation of the BID was also unveiled for business owners who attended the first of three workshops that will be held over two weeks to discuss and promote the project.
Business owners also took the opportunity to outline their concerns about disjointed communication around events in the city, the eyesore of vacant stores and anti-social behaviour, especially begging, in the city centre as issues the BID should tackle.
It was also agreed that the environment and sustainability should be the central to a brand for Peterborough that could be used to promote the city nationally and internationally.
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.
Mark Broadhead, chairman of Peterborough Positive, which is leading the BID campaign, said that the Government had been notified of Peterborough’s intention to hold a BID ballot in October and that if successful the BID would be adopted in November and officially start on April 1 next year.
He said this would also give businesses more time to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Guest speaker Lucy Stanford, director of operations for the Nottingham BID told the meeting that are 329 BIDs in the UK that collectively generated more than £132 million. In the East if England there are 27 BIDs together generating just short of £10 million.
She said: “Peterborough can benefit from a BID.”
The meeting was told benefits could include support for recovery from Covid-19, encouraging more visitors to the city centre with a programme of events, helping to establish a cafe culture, creating a sense of community among businesses and organisations in the centre and raising the profile of Peterborough and encouraging investment through a new brand and identity for the city.