Saying ‘Yes’ to Keighley’s Big BID

Keighley

Businesses in Keighley are being urged to say “Yes” to the Keighley Business Improvement District proposal, which reached a milestone with the recent publication of the BID business plan.

This plan summarises what a Business Improvement District could be for Keighley. The proposals for five years of activity following a successful “Yes” ballot has been landing in the letter boxes of
Keighley businesses.

The plan has the benefit of many contributions from Keighley businesses describing what they would like to see happen in the next five years and priorities as they see them. There has been a steering group made up of businesses, assisted by Bradford Council who would collect the additional levy payments on the business rate when the scheme is approved.

The work has also benefited from the advice of national business chains through Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets Initiative. Keighley won the assistance as one of the first 33 towns in Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets Programme.

Participating businesses include Boots, M&S, Co-Op, Santander, working with the Keighley Town Centre Association.(KTCA). The KTCA has been the body that has helped to co-ordinate the work.

Business Improvement Districts are not meant to replace Council services; they are there to add to the town centre experience and drive up footfall and town centre usage.

They do not have funds for capital improvements. This is expected to be five years of revenue investment to get the town as active, attractive and safe as possible to boost business.

BIDS are required to state who will do what in terms of how the BID and Council will work together and these documents can be found on the Keighleybid.co.uk website along with the business plan, news and other useful information.

In Keighley’s position, the pursuit of BID status is not a sign of weakness – rather strength – as the town has the ambition and organisation to actively pursue a better future rather than cope with what comes.

In some other towns and cities, BIDS have been ambitious and have explored other responsibilities beyond the initial proposal. However, that possibility is for the future.

It’s not a case of ‘Can I afford to support the BID?’ It’s a case of ‘Can I afford not to?’

The challenges facing towns and cities mean that footfall is important to counteract the trend to on-line shopping which can result in goods and services available locally being purchased from very distant providers.

The ballot will be held shortly with the final date being 12 November, and an announcement on the 13th or very shortly afterwards.

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