Cabinet: Funding sought for creation of York Business Improvement District

Published Tuesday, 24th February 2015

Cabinet Members will be asked to approve the use of Economic Infrastructure Funding (EIF) to support the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) in York, at a meeting on 3 March 2015.

Cabinet Members will be asked to approve the use of Economic Infrastructure Funding (EIF) to support the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) in York, at a meeting on 3 March 2015.

The initiative, led by City Team York, would see businesses in the city centre area within the inner ring road come together to form a BID company to decide how they pool resources to benefit the local economy. 

The £25,000 EIF boost proposed would be used to supplement the funding of a Business Improvement District Manager, post April 2015, to ensure that any proposals put forward for the area are produced with the backing of city centre businesses.

The BID company would deliver additional services and initiatives, determined by businesses in the area, which will be funded by a levy collected by the council. The council would then transfer the funds back to the BID company for its use.

The plans could mean as much as £4m additional funding for the city centre over the next five years.

Business Improvement Districts already exist in around 190 locations across the UK and evidence gained from these suggests that they can lead to increased spend and sales, improvements to physical surroundings, support the competitiveness of a city, more effective marketing activity and improved safety and security.

Cllr David Levene, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Economic Development for City of York Council said: " A Business Improvement District would allow businesses to come together to decide how they might pool their resources to benefit the local economy. The council is looking to support this project, in order to unlock significant private-sector investment in the city's economy."

As a condition of the EIF funding being agreed the City Team is being asked to explore all external additional sources of funding, such as the Government loan scheme for BIDs, and ensure that businesses in the area have adequate information to allow them to evaluate the effectiveness of the BID.

The Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF) is a £28.5m fund that was created to enable projects of strategic importance to the city’s ambitions for creating jobs and growing the economy. So far investment from the fund approved to date from previous cabinets is £28.2m.

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