The businesses of Bedford town centre have said YES to a third term of the BID (Business Improvement District).
National chains and large local organisations, such as Bedford College and the Bedford Borough Council, renewed their commitment to the town centre, AND a winning number of independents voted yes too.
This means Bedford continues to lead the UK in taking action to protect its town centre. It was the first county town to vote yes to a BID in 2005, said yes again in 2010 and now BID3 will come to life in April 2015.
As a legally binding BID, all businesses in the zone have to pay a levy, unless their rateable value is under £8,100 in which case they are exempt BUT still benefit from an improved trading environment. That money goes into a central pot managed by representatives of those paying businesses. The BID Board decide how to spend the money to best support a thriving town centre.
A business plan for BID3 formed part of the ballot paperwork on which people made their choice.
In between now and BID3 in April 2014, BID2 will be busy with Christmas in Bedford – which for many businesses is a critical time for sales.
An AGM will be held in November 2014 when levy-payers who want to get involved as a volunteer Board member can step up to support the town.