Businesses in Liverpool’s commercial district voted to continue with the business improvement district for another five years, agreeing to pay a levy on rates to fund a £4m action plan.
Liverpool BID Company said the result was the most successful result in its 11-year history as it won 85% of the vote to renew the Commercial District BID until June 2021.
The result also saw businesses voting in favour by 88% of the rateable value weighting, with the 322 yes votes worth £24.4m compared to £3.2m for the 55 votes against the plan.
The turnout was 43%. Votes for the BID almost doubled and the votes against more than halved since the Commercial District’s first ballot in 2011, when the turnout was 33%.
The £4m programme identified 24 key actions across four key themes – Connectivity, Management, Promotion, Working – to nurture an environment that supports and encourages business growth.
The 32-page business plan was put together through a series of consultations, conversations and debates with BID members and stakeholders over the past 18 months.
Jim Gill, chairman of Commercial District BID, which represents more than 550 businesses in Liverpool city centre, said: “This yes result is a hugely welcome vote of confidence in what we have achieved to date and our ambitious plans for the next five years.
“The hard work now begins to turn ambition into a reality. We have great partnerships in both the public and private sector and with their continued support much can be achieved to the benefit of businesses already here and those looking for a dynamic location to operate in.”
The Commercial District BID is designed to improve an area from Lord Street to Old Hall Street and Water Street to Pall Mall. The district contains a workforce of more than 60,000 people employed across a range of booming sectors from legal and financial, creative and digital, to leisure and hospitality.
The BID Company is currently overseeing completion of a £1.6m scheme to improve the public realm in key areas of the district, has just delivered a life-saving campaign with Medicash, ensuring the Commercial District has enough defibrillators for the public to be within two minutes of a device and recently hosted Liverpool’s first themed Restaurant Week.
As part of its support to businesses, the BID Company also annually provides an estimated £7,000 worth of benefits per business from free promotional space in the city centre, free first aid, security and customer service training to inclusion on the ThIS Liverpool App, which has now been downloaded by more than 10,000 people.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, said: “We have listened to our business community and as a result have a plan that we believe will continue to improve the city centre and strengthen its appeal as one of the best business districts in the country.”
Commercial District BID 2016 Ballot – Result:
By number of votes
Yes 322 / 85.4%
No 55 / 14.6%
By rateable value
Yes £24.4m / 88.2%
No £3.26m / 11.8%