In October, town centre businesses will be balloted for their views on whether Watford should have become a Business Improvement District (BID).
There are currently more than 200 BIDs operating successfully around the country. They do not replace local authority and police services, but provide supplementary resources. BIDs have been found to be successful because they are entrepreneurial, focused and cost-efficient.
If the BID is successful in next month's ballot, Watford town centre will see almost £3m of investment, by way of a small levy that will be charged to all businesses operating within the BID area. The BID will begin in April 2016 and run for a five year term.
Therefore, it makes sense that town centre businesses are invited to pick up their copy of the BID Business Plan at a special launch event on Wednesday 16th September. The launch is taking place between 6pm and 8pm at Oceana's Woo-Woo Bar on The Parade and gives local businesses the opportunity to find out more about how this money will be spent over the five years.
“Significant investment has already taken place and much more is still to come with the Intu Centre expansion, the Croxley Rail Link and the Health Campus,” commented Jonathan Field, chair of the Town Centre Partnership. “It’s only through a BID that we, as businesses working together, can truly capitalise on this investment, have greater influence and play a larger part in what happens in the town centre.”
Organisations that are already supportive of the Watford BID include JD Wetherspoon, John Lewis, Gap, The Colosseum, The Intu Centre, Jackson's Jewellers and Watford Borough Council.
What do you think? Do you think that Watford becoming BID town will change things for the better? Do you believe that an additional levy for town centre businesses is asking too much or are you confident that we will see a return on investment?
You can find out more about the Watford BID by visiting the website.