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Ballot to be held over ‘Business Improvement District’ proposal for Bridgend town centre

10 May 2016

A scheme aimed at making Bridgend town centre a better place to do business has moved a step closer.

Business rate payers based within 20 of the town centre’s streets are to be asked to vote on whether they support the idea of a ‘Business Improvement District’ being established for Bridgend.

Already in place in nine other towns across Wales, a Business Improvement District (BID), involves businesses investing collectively to fund specific projects that are all aimed at improving their trading environment and stimulating local business.

Cabinet Members from Bridgend County Borough Council have approved the latest stage of the BID proposal, and business rate payers within specific streets will be balloted before the end of June.

In the event of a ‘yes’ vote, a BID company will then need to be established which will have responsibility for managing the BID over a three-year term, and business rate payers will pay an annual levy to the BID company.

The streets that are included in the BID area, either in whole or part, are: Adare Street, Angel Street, Boulevard de Villenave d’Ornon, Brackla Street, Brewery Lane, Caroline Street, Cheapside, Court Road, Cross Street, Derwen Road, Dunraven Place, Elder Street, Langenau Strasse, Market Street, Merthyr Mawr Road North, Nolton Street, Quarella Road, Queen Street, Station Hill, The Rhiw, Water Street and Wyndham Street.

In 2014, the Welsh Government awarded one-off funding of £25,000 towards the development of a Bridgend BID proposal, and a steering group was set up which includes representatives of the Bridgend business community, Bridgend County Borough Council and Bridgend Town Council.

The steering group has identified a number of priorities for the town centre in their draft BID proposal. They include better marketing for the town centre, making it safer and more welcoming, and improving access and parking.

Councillor Charles Smith, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “A Business Improvement District for Bridgend will be an important tool in stimulating economic development of the town centre.

“Business Improvement Districts have been proven to create cohesive business communities, and encourage private sector creativity to tackle problems and improve communication between business and councils.

“The investment made by the business rate payers will address key issues that currently affect the success of the town, and will be in addition to those projects and activities that are already being provided by local authorities.”

Business Improvement Districts have already been set up in Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Neath, Llanelli, Caernarfon and Bangor, Aberystwyth and Pontypridd.

The Welsh Government is supporting Business Improvement Districts in Wales as a key component of its commitment to encouraging economic development and to deliver its regeneration framework, ‘Vibrant and Viable Places’.

Last Updated: 18/05/2016
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