Lancaster BID asks businesses to VOTE YES for another five years

January 05, 2021 - 10:00am

Lancaster BID asks businesses to VOTE YES for another five years

Business Improvement Districts are funded primarily through a levy from businesses located within a specific geographical area. These businesses all have their say in a ballot which must be held a minimum of every Five Years. Lancaster BID has published a new Business Plan and is now asking businesses to VOTE YES for a third term which will commence on 1st April 2021 and last for the next five years.

The Business Plan details five key goals which will be delivered over the next five years to ensure Lancaster remains a popular and welcoming place to live, study, work, visit and do business. The Five Key Goals are:

  • Marketing Lancaster as a Destination – this will be achieved through a combination of online and traditional marketing methods to raise the profile of the city centre to locals and visitors.
  • Safe and Secure City Centre – Lancaster BID will continue to provide a BID Warden to enhance safety and reduce crime and antisocial behaviour through improved networking between different businesses and agencies including the Police.
  • Clean and Attractive City Centre Strategic projects to visually enhance the city centre will be delivered alongside installation of seasonal street decorations and a continued targeted approach to keeping the city centre clean and tidy to ensure it provides a pleasant and welcoming environment for all.
  • High Quality Events Programme – as soon as COVID restrictions allow, there will be a return of our annual programme of flagship events including Dino Day, Festa Italia and the Christmas Lights Switch On. Partnership events including Light Up Lancaster and Lancaster Music Festival will also be supported to return to help create a vibrant city centre.
  • Direct Support to Businesses – Lancaster BID will ensure a regular flow of relevant information to city centre businesses as well as organising themed networking events and relevant training. Support will be tailored to changing circumstances to ensure businesses receive the maximum level of support in the most effective manner.

Ballot papers for the Lancaster BID Renewal ballot will be sent to the registered ratepayer at each premises within the BID Zone which be liable to pay a BID Levy. To be successful the ballot must show support from a majority of those who cast a vote by both number and rateable value. If successful, every business with a rateable value of £10,000 or above located within the BID Zone will pay a levy equal to 1.5% of their rateable value. 

The levy will provide an annual income of £230,000 which will be enhanced with additional income estimated at £46,000 per year. Over the Five year term this will generate over £1.38Million which will all be reinvested back into the city centre to provide a boost to all businesses.

Lancaster BID Manager, Tony Johnson, said “The past year has obviously been very challenging for all businesses. We appreciate that businesses will all have their own priorities at this time. However, without a ballot, Lancaster BID will cease to exist on 31st March this year. As vaccines are rolled out, there should be optimism that the current restrictions can finally start coming to an end this Spring and we need to be ready to welcome everyone back into the city centre to support all local businesses.”

“We believe that as city centres reopen, Lancaster BID will be more important than ever to help rebuild footfall and support the city centre to thrive once again. It is for this reason we are asking all eligible businesses to return their ballot papers and VOTE YES to confirm their support of Lancaster BID for another five years. With the support of local businesses, we are confident we can rebuild footfall in Lancaster city centre and once again create a place where local businesses can thrive.”

Ballot Papers will be issued next week on 14th January and must be submitted by post to arrive no later than 5.00pm on Thursday 11th February. Votes will be counted and results announced on Friday 12th February. A copy of the Business Plan will be included with all ballot papers and is also available to read online at www.lancasterbid.org.

The Lancaster BID team will be available throughout the ballot period and will be happy to speak to any businesses who may want further information about the ballot process or plans for the next five years. They will also be happy to help any business to receive replacement ballot papers if any documents go missing. The team can be contacted at info@lancasterbid.org or by phone on 01524 590650.

Businesses are encouraged to watch out for ballot papers arriving from 14th January and to submit them promptly to ensure their vote can be counted. A strong YES vote is needed to ensure Lancaster BID continues and delivers for local businesses for another five years.