30
October
2015

We're supporting the BID

We're supporting the BID

SUPPORT is growing for an initiative that would generate £1 million for Keighley during five years.

Numerous businesses have voiced their backing for the creation of the so-called Business Improvement District (BID).

Ballot papers have been sent out to companies as part of the campaign, spearheaded by Keighley Town Centre Association (KTCA).

Bradford Council also gets a vote as it pays business rates on its town centre premises.

The local authority has worked directly with the association to help the Keighley BID steering group put together its proposals.

The vote closes on November 12.

If the BID proposal is approved, firms will in future have to pay a 1.5 per cent levy on top of their standard business rate – money used to make the town more attractive to potential customers.

Plans for the cash windfall would include £494,000 to be spent on marketing and promotion, £276,000 on business support, £213,000 on safety and security and £160,000 on signs, car parking and transport improvements.

Umberto Vietri, partner and head of company and commercial law at AWB Charlesworth solicitors in Keighley, said: "We want to see the town thrive and ensure it is an accessible, welcoming and interesting place in which to work, for both our employees and clients.

"We believe the BID offers a real opportunity for local firms and will ultimately provide major benefits we may not otherwise have."

Also backing the venture is the Airedale Shopping Centre.

Centre manager, Steve Seymour, said: "We are 100 per cent behind the BID and the delivery of its business plan.

"A 'yes' vote will help make Keighley a safer, friendlier and better place to visit, shop and run a business from.

"It will ensure the town continues to grow and develop."

Christine Young, who owns the Lavender Fields Emporium in Cavendish Street, said the BID plan to market and promote the town could only have a positive impact.

And fellow Cavendish Street trader Graham Benn, of DIY Solutions, urges traders to "grasp a golden opportunity".

"This would mean a huge amount to Keighley," added Mr Benn, who is KTCA vice-chairman.

 

"Businesses would collectively agree on the priorities and how to invest their money."

 

f successful, the steering group, led by the private sector, would become an independent, not-for-profit company to manage projects during the next five years.