Barrow’s business community has been asked to vote on whether or not they want to be part of Barrow BID.
Barrow BID (Business Improvement District) is a private sector initiative that aims to resurrect Barrow’s declining high street by giving business owners in the town a chance to take control of their future.
The initiative involves business owners paying a small levy to carry out work on problem areas identified in a survey conducted earlier this year which included areas such as filling empty premises, increasing footfall in the town and marketing.
The levy equates to 1.5% of the rateable value of the business property (at the lower end of thhe scale equates to just over £1 a week) meaning that over a 5 year period a potential £800,000 could be raised to tackle the key aims and issues facing the town.
The BID proposal incorporates all business in the town centre within the catchment area of Rawlinson Street, Greengate Street, Hindpool Road and Abbey Road.
It’s no secret that there has been a lack of footfall in the town centre, and this initiative is seen as the perfect way to bring the business community together. Surely everyone wants to see the town centre bustling again, with a great mix of high street stores and local, independent businesses.
Phil Collier, Chairman of the Barrow BID Steering Group sums things up as follows “We’ve been continually maintaining a dialogue with businesses in the area and I’ll continue to do so right up to the final ballot on Thursday.
“But people really need to get out there and vote if they care about the future of their town because if this doesn’t happen nobody else is going to come along waving a cheque for just short of a million quid.
"It quite simply won’t happen and the town centre will continue in its decline. In my book that’s quite a simple message.
It’s certainly a simple message, and this Friday we’ll find out whether or not Barrow businesses agree with it.