Camberley Town Centre can expect to benefit from nearly £1.5 million of private sector investment after local businesses voted in favour of continuing to fund Collectively Camberley, the Business Improvement District (BID), for a further 5 year term.
Ballot results released by independent scrutineer, Electoral Reform Services, reveal that 85% of all those who voted were in favour of the BID continuing. For the renewal to be successful, a majority by rateable value was also required. This was achieved with 87% of the total value of those who voted.
Collectively Camberley BID are behind popular events such as The Camberley Car Show, The Christmas Light Switch On and Camberley’s Rooftop Film Festival. Alongside the annual events programme, the group are also responsible for the floral displays and Christmas lights and the popular Little Book of Offers. They work with businesses in the town centre to support their marketing and promote them via the Love Camberley brand. The BID also deliver free workshops to the businesses within the BID, providing customer service training, digital skills improvements and mystery shopping. All BID initiatives are funded by the businesses from within Camberley as well as voluntary contributions from key partners.
Commenting on the ballot result, Lucy Boazman, BID Manager for Collectively Camberley said;
“This is a very exciting day for businesses in Camberley Town Centre and I would like to thank them for their continued support. With the continuation of the BID, we will be able to keep delivering a whole range of enhancements to Camberley, progress new projects and keep delivering our annual events like The Camberley Car Show and The Christmas Light Switch On. The BID renewal is a great opportunity to build on what has been achieved in the previous 5 years. With Camberley’s strengths and characteristics, the town centre has a huge potential. These strengths provide the BID, our businesses and organisations with the opportunity to create and manage an environment that is good for business, for our customers, visitors, employees and for local residents.”
The activities and projects delivered by BID are financed through a BID levy that is 1.5% of each businesses rateable value; resulting in around £260,000 annual investment for Camberley. Further funding of around £40,000 per annum is generated by the BID through voluntary contributions from key partners, sponsorship and ticket sales from events. The proceeds of which are put back into the town and on the additional projects that the businesses have identified and as set out in the BIDs business plan. It is anticipated that over the five years’ term, nearly £ 1.5 million will be generated.
Chairman for Collectively Camberley, Lorna Dane said;
“I believe today’s ballot result demonstrates that businesses in Camberley have seen the real difference that the BID can make to the area and don’t want to give these benefits up. We have a large task ahead and high expectations to deliver on, but I believe we, along with our working partners in the town, will make a real impact over the next 5 years.”
After several months of consultation with the town’s businesses, the BID produced a business plan that outlines their aims for 2016 – 2021. This includes a continuation of the town events and marketing initiatives as well as a focus on increasing external funding. The group also aim to enhance the look and feel of the town with street art and improvements to signage around the town.
Ms Boazman continued “We are excited about the next 5 years for Camberley and look forward to working with the BID businesses and our key partners to take Camberley Town Centre to the next level.”