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News - 27 February 2005

Maidstone rejects Business Improvement District

Maidstone could have been the fifth Business Improvement District (BID) in the UK after Bankside, Kingston, Heart of London and Holborn but it missed the mark by less than 1% of the vote.

The rules require that more than 50% of those voting have to be in favour and they have to represent 50% of the rateable value (RV) but while Maidstone got over 59% of the RV the total votes in favour were only 49.08% so the BID failed. Three more businesses voting in favour would have carried the day for City Centre Manager Bill Moss who had worked tirelessly for two years putting the BID together. This highlights some of the problems of getting schemes off the ground when the ink is barely dry on the legislation that facilitates BIDs. Researching a BID, putting it together, promoting it and marketing it to an often-sceptical business community are all complex and expensive.

Kingston spent in the region of £200,000 to put its successful BID in place – mostly from the London Development Agency - but Maidstone had a fraction of this sum. The City Centre Business Forum is working with a number of small business associations to explore BIDs in Brighton & Hove. If you would like more details contact Soozie Campbell on 01273 380040 or John Edjvet on 01273 291046.


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