06 October 2015
BALLOT papers were sent to Keighley companies yesterday as part of the campaign to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in the town centre.
Keighley Town Centre Association is spearheading the plan in order to attract £1 million to Keighley ove
Bradford Council, one of 400 businesses and other organisations due to receive papers, kickstarted the process by stating that it would vote in favour.
The result of the vote – which has also received backing from a host of major Keighley retailers – will be announced on November 13.
If the BID proposal is approved, businesses will in future have to pay 1.5 per cent levy on top of their standard business rate.
A BID is a partnership in which businesses in an area elect to make a collective contribution to the development and improvement of their commercial district.
Bradford Council gets a vote as it pays business rates on its town centre premises.
The authority has worked directly with the association to help the Keighley BID steering group put together its proposals.
The steering group, led by the private sector, will become an independent not-for-profit company, KeighleyBID, to manage projects over the next five years.
Steering group chairman Graham Benn, of DIY Solutions in Cavendish Street, said a yes vote made absolute sense for the future of Keighley town centre.
He said: "The Council put up the development funds for the BID, is covering the cost of the ballot and will pay for the BID manager for four years. It will cover the costs of the BID’s office accommodation and equipment.
"Business Improvement District rules prevent the Council from replacing council services with funds raised from the business improvement district levy.”
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council`s executive member for employment, skills and culture, said it was worthwhile for the Council to back Keighley’s economy and helping businesses to campaign for BID status.
She said: “A healthy and prosperous Keighley town centre is what we all want.
"If there’s a yes vote, Keighley will get the benefit of more than £1 million raised by the levy over five years.”
The Council will have a representative on the board of the new KeighleyBID company and will collect and pass on the whole levy to the BID company if the ballot is positive.
For the BID to proceed, more than 50 per cent of the businesses that vote must be in favour of those that vote yes must represent a greater total rateable value than those that say no.
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Visit keighleybid.co.uk for further information.
Keighley Business Improvement District