Weston town centre boost following BID win

Weston BIDWeston town centre will see an injection of cash after the business community voted in favour of the town becoming a Business Improvement District (BID).

The successful ballot result is the culmination of months of work by project organisers that included Bid co-ordinator and Weston Town Centre Manager Steve Townsend.

Last year, organisers canvassed all the businesses in the town centre to find out what projects and initiatives needed to be put in place to halt the decline and move the town forward. A plan of action was drawn up to reflect those ideas and the ‘yes’ vote now means these plans will become a reality. With the extra money set to be used to put on major events in the future and market the town more effectively.

Seven hundreds businesses in the town centre were balloted last month and the results showed that thirty-three per cent of those businesses voted and sixty-seven per cent of those voted yes for the scheme. The businesses in favour of the scheme needed to represent both a percentage in favour of the scheme but also the majority of the rateable value of all those who voted.

Chairman of the Weston BID Group, Tim Lamb said: “This is a resounding mandate for a scheme to turn the town around in these difficult times. The Mary Portas Review of the ‘High Street’ last year recommended BIDs as a key component to the recovery of many of our ailing town centres. I am delighted that Weston businesses have put their weight and support behind this scheme; we look forward to better times ahead for our town.”

The Weston BID team will start delivering the scheme from April this year. The scheme will also employ a fully equipped team of street wardens who will be responsible for tidying up the town and dealing with any security issues.

Commenting on the success of the Weston BID ballot, Steve Townsend said: “We are so grateful to all those who have helped us so much in achieving this positive result for a scheme that will help to put Weston back where it belongs, as a first rate seaside shopping resort. We are looking forward to working with our partners – businesses, the police and the councils – to deliver what they have asked for, and we have pledged to do this as detailed in the BID plan.”

In the next few weeks, all businesses in the BID area will be invited to nominate and vote for six area representatives to work with Steve and his team to deliver and monitor the BID scheme for Weston.