Businesses give green light to Letchworth BID

Letchworth town centre

Letchworth town centre - Credit: Archant

A business initiative was given the green light today (Tuesday).

Businesses from Letchworth GC have voted in favour of creating a Letchworth Garden City BID – Business Improvement District – following a ballot which closed yesterday (Monday).

Almost 67% of the 204 votes that were cast were in favour of adopting the scheme.

The new Business Improvement District, the third of its kind in the area, means that businesses will come together to plan and implement activities that will further develop their trade.

Town centre businesses will now pay an additional annual charge ­­­- a percentage on top of their business rates -­ which will generate over £650,000 of additional investment into the town centre over five years.

The key elements of the BID will include delivering a programme of events and promotional activities to attract people into the town and a marketing programme to promote the town centre. The BID will also look at developing new ways of doing trade in the town centre and review parking issues.

Chair of the BID Steering Group Thomas Humfrey said it was great news for Letchworth GC.

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He said: “We’re delighted that our plans outlined in the BID prospectus have received the backing of the town, and that the strength of our collective voice has been acknowledged. It’s a genuinely exciting and pivotal moment and we can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in. Our first task is to set up the new BID company to ensure we hit the ground running when the BID is implemented in a few months time.”

The BID will commence in March 2014 and run for five years. The BID company will be a private sector-led, non-profit, independent company.

It will have a board of up to 16 elected directors who will oversee the delivery of the BID projects and the efficient running of the company.