Gloucester Road secures £250k investment

April 26 2014

CELEBRATIONS are being had after a ballot to make Gloucester Road a Business Improvement District (BID) has been successful.

CELEBRATIONS are being had after a ballot to make Gloucester Road a Business Improvement District (BID) has been successful.
Businesses running from Colston's Girls' School to the bottom of Pigsty Hill were eligible to vote in the ballot, which - if successful - would see £250,000 invested into Gloucester Road over the next five years.
The ballot was won with a majority of 55% voting "yes". The turn-out was "relatively high" with 54% of all the businesses affected voting. The UK average voter turn-out in BID ballots is approximately 41%.
Traders had until March 20 to vote.
George Grace, BID advisor, and founder of TownCentred Consultancy, said: "Naturally we are very pleased with being a third higher than the average, as representation was a key part of our aims."
The BID will be funded by a 2% levy on each business in the designated area, with the average business paying £3.85 per week.
The total BID fund will be over £50,000 per year to be spent exclusively in the Gloucester Road area on marketing, events and promotion; making the area clean, green, accessible and attractive; lowering business costs; and giving independent traders a voice.
The first installment of money is expected around mid-July.
The Gloucester Road Traders Association, which instigated the BID, is in the process of setting up a project management and administration team to run the scheme to ensure money is protected and well spent. This can be made up of volunteers, or part-time personnel.
Samantha Mant, vice-chair of the GRTA, said: "The BID plea is 'please get involved' - the more involved, the better.
"This is going to be the start of something really quite exciting - over the next couple of years, we're going to see some significant improvements."
She added: "Improving waste collection is a big priority, and we're aiming to get a regular, effective waste collection service at an affordable cost. We think making the streets look better is really quite important."
BIDs were first introduced in the UK as part of a pilot scheme in 2005. Since then, more than 180 have been successfully established, contributing £300 million of funding back into their towns and cities.
BIDs can last a maximum of five years, after which time another ballot must be held to see if the businesses involved wish to continue.

For more information, visit: www.gloucester-road.co.uk