More than 250 people gathered at Chester Cathedral last week for a business event where the team behind a drive to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in Chester outlined its vision for the future of the City Centre.
Board members from the CH1 Chester BID Company took to the stage to explain the concept behind a BID and encourage local businesses to get behind the scheme and vote yes when a ballot takes place in June 2014.
Paul Daniels, Chairman of CH1 Chester BID Company and Managing Director of thebestofchester, said: “It was fantastic to see Chester’s business community out in force to hear more about our plans to implement a BID in Chester.
“We are a collection of business owners and managers who are passionate about the future of this great city and we believe that creating a BID in the City Centre is the only way we can increase footfall and spend.
“More than 170 other towns and cities including Manchester and Liverpool already have BIDs in place and are reaping the rewards. Chester has been left behind and we need to act now to make sure we secure a prosperous and vibrant future for our City Centre.”
Mr Daniels was joined on the stage by fellow board members Eryl Edwards, General Manager of Primark, and Tim Kenney, a founding partner of the property consultancy kenneymoore. Several other Chester businesses have already given their support to the BID proposal, including Debenhams, Boots, Grosvenor Shopping Centre and Watergate Street Art Gallery.
Businesses within the proposed BID area of Chester will be asked to vote on whether or not to pay a 1% levy on their business rates when voting takes place in June this year. The levy would be one of the lowest in the UK but would generate more than £2.5m of funding over five years that would be reinvested back into the City Centre, supporting improvements that businesses themselves want to see.