Bid to boost town economy steps up

A BID to boost customers in Weston town centre’s shopping district has taken a step forward with the appointment of a project chairman.

Tim Lamb, the McDonalds franchisee owner for the Weston, Worle and Portishead restaurants, has taken up the position on the Business Improvement District (BID) steering group.

Weston Town Centre Partnership is spearheading the project, which, if successful, will see traders pay into the scheme to invigorate the area and increase footfall.

The organisation is hoping to follow in the footsteps of more than 80 other towns and cities across the country, which have already become BIDs, including Taunton and Bristol.

Mr Lamb, a member of the partnership since 2009, said: “Having seen first hand the commercial advantage that BIDs have brought to business communities in other towns, I feel humbled and honoured to have been asked by fellow directors to take up this new position.

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“Weston BID is an excellent opportunity for the business community to work together for the common good and to pool resources to help attract more people to the town.”

Businesses in the town centre with a rateable value (RV) of more than �5,000 will be asked to pay 1.5 per cent of this figure annually into the five-year project.

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This annual collective figure of �273,000 could be used in whatever way business owners feel would improve the town centre’s economy – from introducing a calendar of major events and paying for marketing, to improving street cleaning, safety and security.

Mr Lamb added: “Over the next six months the BID team will be consulting with businesses in the town centre to establish the top priorities which will feed into a business plan which will be voted on in spring 2012.”

If approved, all traders with an RV of more than �5,000 in the town centre will have to pay into the scheme.

A meeting with traders is likely to take place before Easter.

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