Step forward for town's BID

A KEY stage the drive to revitalise the centre of Colchester has been reached with the publication of detailed plans for the proposed Colchester Business Improvement District (BID).

A KEY stage in the drive to revitalise the centre of Colchester has been reached with the publication of detailed plans for the proposed Colchester Business Improvement District (BID).

The business-led scheme aims to make the town centre cleaner, safer and more attractive, and the draft proposal has now been dispatched to the business community for consultation.

Feeback obtained will be used to guide the final business plan which will be launched in October, ahead of a ballot of business rate payers in November.

The draft proposals circulated to businesses this week include the introduction of “Business Bobbies”, a new street ranger team and additional cleaners.


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Also proposed is an improved street market, weekend parking offers, park-and-ride promotions as well as improved marketing of the Colchester as its main offering.

Chris Kirvan, Colchester BID manager, said: “We are asking all business people in the town centre to comment on our proposals as their comments and views will influence the final offering. The Colchester BID will be a way local companies can invest local money to improve their own trading environment, and ultimately, achieve more successful businesses.”

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Subject to businesses voting “Yes” by a sufficient margin, the proposed projects will be funded through a small supplementary business rate, ring-fenced for BID purposes rather than being fed by to central government as happens with the standard business rate.

The ballot will be conducted on a postal basis, with those entitled to vote having about a month to return their papers.

East Anglia's first BID began in Ipswich earlier this year and has a focus similar to that planned for Colchester, including street rangers and additional cleaners to improve the town centre environment and marketing initiatives to attract more shoppers and visitors to the town.

However, the priorities for the Colchester BID will be set by those taking part in the current consultation.

For more information about the Colchester BID, visit www.colchesterbid.co.uk

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