Letchworth BID takes a step forward

Letchworth GC businesses will vote to decide if a BID should be launched

Letchworth GC businesses will vote to decide if a BID should be launched - Credit: Daniel Wilson

LETCHWORTH businesses will vote to decide if a business improvement district (BID) should be launched after North Herts District Council’s Cabinet members approved the plan.

On Tuesday, Cabinet members endorsed proposals to progress to a ballot for a BID, the third of its kind in the district.

Letchworth GC BID member and owner of Annie’s Emporium in The Arcade, Richard Vernon, said: “It is very positive news and I hope that the traders in the town will vote in favour of the democratic process which will benefit the whole town.”

The purpose of a BID is for businesses to come together to plan and implement activities that will further develop their trade. Businesses in the Letchworth Garden City BID area will now vote for or against the creation of a BID.

If the ballot of Letchworth GC businesses is successful, businesses would pay a charge which would be used to pay for projects and services to improve trade.

The key elements of the LGC BID proposal include delivering a programme of events and promotional activities to attract people into the town and devising a marketing programme including using social media, advertising and a website 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.

Cllr Tom Brindley, NHDC portfolio holder for planning, transport and enterprise said: “We are delighted to endorse proposals to create a new Business Improvement District for Letchworth Garden City. It is heartening to see a proposal which focuses on transforming the vitality of the town centre by aiming to increase visitor numbers and looking at innovative ways to increase trade.”

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“The national retail environment is undergoing huge transformation and therefore the creation of a BID for LGC town centre is an innovative way to help bolster the town’s economy.”

“North Hertfordshire continues to lead the county in business improvement innovation, as the only council with a BID, indeed Letchworth would become our third, following the success of Hitchin and Royston.”

Letchworth town centre manager, Lee Boswell, said: “NHDC have been extremely supportive over the years towards town centre management. Uniquely supporting four town centre partnerships.

By ratifying the Letchworth BID proposal they are continuing this support towards our town alongside Hitchin and Royston which have already successfully obtained BID status. It’s fantastic news for the town and for the wider business community.”