Harrogate BID: Top 5 reasons to vote 'yes'

There's only a few days before the ballot of Harrogate town centre businesses closes on whether the town will become a Business Improvement District for the next five years.

Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 7:57 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 8:04 am
Helping Harrogate town centre businesses is the aim of BID.

The vote on this potentially crucial business-led project in Harrogate closes officially on Thursday, November 8 at 5pm.At stake is the creation of a more than £3 million budget to make improvements in Harrogate town centre to help businesses thrive in challenging times for the retail sector.Not everyone will have read the many pages of the Harrogate BID's detailed and comprehensive business plan to help the town, though it is available on the Harrogate BID website.Some apprehension and misapprehension is bound to still exist in the local business community even as the deadline looms.

With that in mind, here is the Harrogate Advertiser's easy guide to the key questions

Harrogate BID: Top 5 Things Independents Should Love

1. Harrogate BID is not controlled by the county council.

2. Harrogate BID is not controlled by Harrogate council.

3. Harrogate BID is not controlled by the Government.

4. Harrogate BID's board WILL be elected by Harrogate businesses and answerable to them.

5. The Harrogate BID levy is not applied to local businesses whose ratable value is less than £20,000.

Harrogate BID: Top 5 things it aims to achieve

1. Marketing, promotion and events in Harrogate town centre.Estimated budget over five years:£1,300,000

2. Better access and car parkingEstimated budget over five years:£260,000

3. Safe, clean and welcoming town centreEstimated budget over five years:£750,000

4 New lobbying group to champion Harrogate’s business interests withing and beyond the townEstimated budget over five years:£285,000

5. Helping Harrogate’ s evening and night-time economyEstimated budget over five years:£130,000

Harrogate BID key facts

1. How is a BID funded?The BID is funded primarily through the levy of local businesses but can also draw on other public and private funding streams if necessary.

2. How long does a BID run?A successful BID has a mandate for a maximum of five years after which the BID would need to carry out a re-ballot.

3. How does the BID ballot work?A confidential postal vote is held of all the businesses that would pay the BID Levy. To become a BID, the majority of those that vote must be in favour by number and, also, the rateable value of the businesses.

4. Will the money merely be used to help local councils do things?No. BID money can only be used to carry out projects/services additional to existing public services.

5. Is BID accountable to local businesses?Yes. The BID company would be responsible for the delivery of the BID projects and responsible to all businesses through a board elected from those businesses that pay the BID Levy.

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