Paul Rice

Firms approve Liverpool BID proposal

Despite a low turnout that saw only 289 votes cast, the ballot for Liverpool's second Business Improvement District resulted in approval for plans to charge businesses in the commercial district a supplementary rate in return for improved services.

Around 60% of voters supported the BID proposal. Turnout in the BID area – bounded by Leeds Street, James Street, Strand and Pall Mall – was 33%. The rateable value of the yes vote was £16.7m, compared to £7.3m against. The total rateable value of the businesses eligible to vote – those with more than £10,000 a year rateable value – was £63.3m.

The result was announced last night by Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, regeneration portfolio holder in the Labour cabinet of Liverpool City Council.

Kennedy said BID status will generate more than £3m in additional funding over the next five years for enhanced maintenance, marketing and physical improvements.

He added: "It will mean companies have a greater influence over how they would like the business district to look and feel, with additional resources available to make those ambitions a reality."

The application for BID status for the business district – the retail core around Church Street already had the status – was led by Liverpool Commercial District Partnership. Paul Rice, chief executive of Liverpool CDP, said: "We've all worked really hard over the past five years to put projects in place to improve the area, and we can now look forward to seeing the commercial district continue to thrive.

"The 'yes' vote means that we can implement the many improvements laid down in the business plan such as creating a safer, cleaner environment, improving transport access and attracting investment."

More than 800 ratepayers were balloted on the BID proposal, which seeks to raise more than £600,000 a year through a levy equivalent to 1% of rateable value.

David Guest, chairman of Liverpool CDP, said: "Liverpool's business community has acknowledged that the creation of a commercial district BID, with its focus on a truly world class business district, can deliver increased commercial activity for existing businesses and help to attract new business to the entire city region."

Your Comments


By simon

No doubt those involved will be skimming a healthy salary of the top of this extra "tax"…


well done David, Paul and team. Great news.

By joel jelen

Is there a set of accounts available to see where and how the money will be spent?


Just to clarify certain inaccuracies in the comments that are worthy of reply. This is NOT a tax – it is a levy voted for by the majority of businesses voting in a ballot conducted independently by the Electoral Reform Society. The only salary will be mine – at a level agreed by the board, which is entirely made up of businesses in the area. We have deliberately kept staffing to a mininmum, preferring to buy in services from providers as & when to be as cost effective as possible. The accounts will be available for all businesses in the area to see and presented in the Annual Report and open to scrutiny to all ratepayers at the Annual Meeting, as well as by the Operating Board on a regular basis. The legislation under which the BID has been introduced makes it a legal requirement that it has to be clearly demonstrated that the budget is spent as set out in the business plan against which the ballot was conducted. Failure to do so would leave the BID Company subject to legal challenge and the organisation to be wound up.

By Paul Rice

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