Cardiff businesses have given their backing and voted ‘YES’ and in favour of setting up a Business Improvement District (BID) for the city centre. The BID will see businesses investing £7.5m over five years in making the city more vibrant, and welcoming, and giving business a stronger influence on how the city centre is managed.
The declaration was announced on Friday 1st July by Mo Aswat as the returning officer, and Director of The Mosaic Partnership. Results showed that 84% of those businesses who voted were in favour of the BID. The vote gives the go-ahead for the BID to take forward its five year Business Plan to drive investment in the City Centre and give local businesses a greater say in the way it is marketed, maintained and managed. The BID will deliver £7.5 million of investment in the area over the next five years and will come into operation before the end of the year.
Cardiff was only one of a handful of UK cities without a BID in operation, yet it has the potential to become one of the largest BID areas in the country representing over 900 businesses. The business plan (insert link) explains how the BID will focus on encouraging people to visit the city centre more often, staying longer and investing more in the local economy. There are three key themes set out in the business plan – making the city centre more Welcoming; Vibrant; and Influential. The Plan will work for all business sectors to enhance the overall experience for city centre as a place to visit, study, meet work and invest.
Simon Phillips, Chair of the Cardiff BID Task Group and manager of Marks and Spencer said: “This is a strong vote of confidence from all types of businesses who trade here and who clearly see the city’s potential for change. The investment from local businesses will be used to improve our area, contribute towards a more successful and profitable future, making the city centre a better place for customers, employees, visitors and businesses alike”.
Owen Davies, BID Development Manager, The Mosaic Partnership added “For the last year businesses have been working incredibly hard to understand business concerns and priorities, and to make sure that the BID proposal demonstrated it would make a significant difference to the local economy. On behalf of the Cardiff BID Task Group, I would like to thank all Cardiff City Centre businesses and stakeholders in the city for their support throughout this process and for backing the BID. Our focus now is very clearly on putting all the arrangements in place for the start of the BID company and on delivering the Business Plan proposal, which businesses have helped design.”
The confidential, postal BID Ballot ran for 28 days ending on 30th June. Organised by the independent Electoral Reform Services (ERS), the BID ballot papers were sent out to eligible voters in the City Centre BID area.
Detailed figures for the vote were as follows:
Yes by Number: 277
Yes by Rateable Value: £52.8m
A majority in terms of votes cast and rateable value legally required for a BID to be voted in.
For more detailed information about a BID in your area please contact Mo Aswat at The Mosaic Partnership on mo@the mosaicpartnership.co.uk.