Posted: Wed 10th Feb 2016

Business Improvement District on the horizon for Aberystwyth? Your chance to vote

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016

his February, businesses in Aberystwyth will receive an important ballot paper by post asking them for their support for the introduction of a Business Improvement District (BID) in Aberystwyth.
​The BID aims to improve Aberystwyth as a place to work and visit. The process is being led by a voluntary steering group of business people from Aberystwyth town centre under the banner of Advancing Aberystwyth. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Advancing Aberystwyth is seeking to develop a five year programme of improvements in the town centre by collecting a levy from all eligible businesses. If the BID is established there is the potential to collect just over £700,000 between 2016 and 2021 to invest in a comprehensive programme of improvements. Every effort will be made to match this sum with funding from other sources. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic and Community Development Service, said: “Ceredigion County Council supports the development of a BID in Aberystwyth, both as a stakeholder and levy payer contributing to the levy fund. Having a BID company in place, with a five-year funding programme that is run by and on behalf of businesses in the town, will be a great asset.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Lloyd added: “This is a real chance for businesses to have control over a significant sum of money that they could spend on the issues that are important to them. This will help to establish Aberystwyth as the first choice destination in mid-Wales for retail and leisure.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Advancing Aberystwyth will be funded by a 1.25% levy on the rateable value (RV) of all eligible hereditaments, or business units, within the defined BID boundary if that business has a RV of £6,000 or more. Businesses with a RV below this threshold will be exempt from voting and paying the BID levy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If the outcome of the vote in March is a ‘yes’ for a BID in Aberystwyth, Advancing Aberystwyth will form a ‘not for profit’ company which will deliver targeted projects and services that are new, unique and not delivered currently by any other agency or organisation. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The programme will focus on access and connections such as improving access and availability of parking and installing free Wi-Fi. It will look at marketing and promotion and deliver PR campaigns and build relationships with the local press. It will create a stronger business community by developing business incentives and mentoring schemes, and strengthen relationships by working with local authorities, and existing initiatives to tackle crime. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

All these services will be in addition to those already provided by Ceredigion County Council and Aberystwyth Town Council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A version of the BID proposal can be found at www.aberystwythbid.com. The proposal sets out how the BID would enhance the town centre through a variety of projects and services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A ballot of eligible businesses in Aberystwyth will be held from Monday, 15 February 2016 until Monday, 14 March 2016. For more information, email mandy@aberystwythbid.com or call 01970 633 277. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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