Three new Business Improvement Districts [BIDs] have come into existence after a positive vote but a fourth is the first town centre BID in the UK to fail at renewal.
Bournemouth Coastal Districts BID was successful at ballot with 73% in favour by number of businesses and 73% in favour by rateable value; it will commence trading in the summer. To be successful a BID has have 50% of those voting in favour and they have to represent 50% of the rateable value of those voting.
The turnout in Bournemouth Coastal was 42%. Under BID regulations, there is no minimum turnout required as long as all businesses in the BID area are given the opportunity to vote.
Bournemouth Town Centre BID was also successful with 83% in favour by number of businesses, 91% in favour by rateable value and a turnout of 35%.
The result for Darlington Town Centre BID was 54% in favour by number of businesses, 61% in favour by rateable value with the turnout at 41%. The BID will commence trading in summer 2012.
Unfortunately Taunton Town Centre BID failed at renewal after 5 years of the existing BID.
The overall result was 52% in favour by number of businesses but only 45% in favour by rateable value; turnout was 45%. Consequently the BID will cease operations in September 2012.
The failure of the BID highlights the uncertain nature of the UK High Street especially for the larger players: the low rateable value in the result suggests that the large stores didn’t support the BID renewal in sufficient numbers.
It also suggests that the previous five years of activity did not convince the levy payers of the value for money that BIDs can provide. BIDs take this for granted at their peril.
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