Chelmsford City Centre BID
Businesses in Chelmsford City Centre have voted strongly in favour of a Business Improvement District (BID). Chelmsford now joins 280 other places, throughout the UK, which have already seen their own BIDs transform their town and city centres. The Chelmsford BID, which was named One Chelmsford, will be one of the largest in the region. The result was announced today (February 23rd) following a month long postal ballot when the owners of the 461 business premises in the BID area voted 72% in favour. The turnout was 29%. They have voted for a 1.5% levy on their rateable values, which will raise around £650,000 per year to be used to support business growth initiatives in the city centre.
For Chelmsford it’s the culmination of 18 months’ work for the business representatives on the BID Steering Group, who put together the proposals that were tested at ballot. One Chelmsford, which will be a business led not-for-profit company to run the BID, will now aim to start work from April and deliver over £3m plus of investment over the next five years. The BID will focus on three main areas, which have been developed with in-depth business input:-
Creating and marketing a great city centre experience – focusing on marketing, events, the evening economy, animating the public realm and supporting a diverse range of businesses
Addressing city centre operational issues – focussing on a safe, welcoming and accessible city centre
Strengthening the business community – focusing on building networks, presenting a strong business voice and saving money.
The Chelmsford City Centre BID will be inclusive and have a voluntary membership scheme for businesses outside the actual BID area. In addition, the BID company will link up with other establishments to ensure a coordinated approach. The BID area covers most of the city centre area from the train station in the north, to the Odeon Roundabout in the south.