Town centre businesses in Wilmslow have backed plans to create a Business Improvement District (BID).
Businesses voted in favour of the proposals in a ballot held during the past month that, now approved, will see a £1 million investment in the town centre over the next five years.
The proposal for a Business Improvement District was approved by 74% by number and 85% by rateable value, giving a strong mandate for a first-time BID.
BIDs are business-led partnerships which are created to deliver additional projects and services to benefit businesses in an area for a limited period, usually five years.
A small levy is charged to all eligible businesses in the area. In Wilmslow town centre this will fund a range of initiatives to create an enhanced experience for consumers and visitors, improve the marketing and profile of Wilmslow and deliver services to support businesses grow and prosper.
The project has been led by a private sector group of local companies including Black White Denim, The Rex Cinema, Sainsburys, Boots, Therapy Organics, Emerson, Mailboxes, The Grove, Boots and the Nationwide Building Society.
The development of the BID has been funded by Wilmslow Town Council and managed by Groundwork, the not-for-profit environmental Trust established in Cheshire East in 1983.
Jo Davies, owner of Black White Denim and Chair of the Wilmslow Town Centre Management Group said “The BID will give businesses a greater say in how Wilmslow town centre is managed and promoted, working closely with the council and other partners to improve Wilmslow, creating a more attractive and vibrant place to shop, work and visit.”
Frank McCarthy, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council said, “This is great news and represents a major change in how the town centre is managed. The Town Council have worked hard to support the recovery of the town centre post Covid, and we are delighted to see businesses approving the proposal to create a BID for the town centre.”
Greville Kelly from Groundwork, who has led the development of the Wilmslow BID and similar projects in Warrington, Northwich, Chester and Burnley said “I’m pleased to see the strong support shown from town centre businesses for backing the business-led £1 million investment over the next five years for the Wilmslow town centre BID. The BID promises a great opportunity for a new way to deliver a range of projects and improvements across the town centre, and reconnect it with new consumers from a range of demographics to create a thriving town centre for the future.”
The Wilmslow Town Centre BID will start in November 2022 and concentrate on three main themes that aim to deliver on the business’s ambitions to ensure that Wilmslow becomes Way Better:
· Creating a ‘Way Better’ Experience for Consumers – Delivering more events and festivals, enhancing the look and feel of the town centre, tackling crime and delivering innovative projects that will revitalise the town centre.
· Delivering ‘Way Better’ Marketing and Promotion – Building on the success of the Wilmslow’s Way Better brand launched in 2021, Wilmslow town centre will be marketed and promoted to more than 500,000 consumers across the North West.
· ‘Way Better’ Business - Ensuring that businesses have a stronger voice in the day to day management of the town centre, this work will also provide valuable business support and training opportunities whilst lobbying for improvements across the town centre.
Further details on the BID’s plans for the future are available at www.wilmslowbid.co.uk