TAMWORTH BOROUGH Council has agreed to provide further support to the work to develop a Business Improvement District (BID), which aims to generate thousands of pounds to spend on making Tamworth a more vibrant place and boost the local economy.
The BID plan is being driven by the BID Tamworth Steering Group, made up of representatives from businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors based across Tamworth – including both the town centre and Ventura Park.
The BID is private sector-led, with Tamworth Borough Council offering help and support to the Steering Group. The authority is represented on the BID Tamworth Steering Group by the Cabinet member for Regeneration, Cllr Steve Claymore.
If the plan becomes a reality, it would mean businesses in the BID zone working together on projects to benefit the economy and community of Tamworth.
The projects – which would complement rather than replace what is already provided by the private sector and local authority – would be paid for by a small levy to which businesses in the designated BID area would all contribute. Those businesses would also have a say on how the money should be spent.
The exact area of the Tamworth BID would be decided in consultation with businesses, and can only be introduced if a majority of businesses in the proposed area vote in favour when a formal ballot is held.
In April this year, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet approved £22,000 for undertaking a feasibility study into the creation of a BID for Tamworth, as well as committing officer time to support the BID development.
The study has now been completed and recommends that the BID development moves to the next stage – an in-depth consultation with relevant businesses, the Tamworth community and partners.
At its meeting last week, Cabinet approved further financial and officer support to take the BID to the next stage, with a view to holding a formal ballot in October 2017.
Work will now be carried out to work with businesses to gather support, develop the BID plan and finalise the BID boundary.
Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Regeneration, said: “The creation of a Business Improvement District is a great opportunity for Tamworth. It will be a great way of driving the regeneration to which Tamworth Borough Council is committed, as well as attracting inward investment.
“This is an exciting plan and I am very pleased that Tamworth Borough Council is able to continue to further support this initiative.
“The development of a BID will have far-reaching benefits, not just for the town centre but for the whole borough of Tamworth.”
Rob Holder, Chairman of the BID Tamworth Steering Group and manager of John Lewis Tamworth, said: “While the Tamworth BID is and should be an independent venture, we could not have got to this stage without the financial support of Tamworth Borough Council.
“During our last Steering Group meeting we agreed to move into the next phase of our journey in bringing together the town, riverside and retail parks, having completed the first feasibility study. I am therefore delighted that the Cabinet has approved additional funding to support us moving to the next phase.
“Businesses within the proposed BID zone, which covers most town centre and retail park businesses, are invited to find out more at a launch event in the town on Tuesday, November 1st.”
He added: “I would urge anyone who has received an invite to attend. Please contact pfbb UK on 01332 419051, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your place.
“More information about the Tamworth BID is available at www.bidtamworth.co.uk.”