Town centre could be reinvigorated by BID success

PUBLISHED: 10:05 05 March 2012 | UPDATED: 10:56 05 March 2012

Town Centre Manager Steve Townsend and Chairman of BID scheme Tim Lamb in Weston High St.

Town Centre Manager Steve Townsend and Chairman of BID scheme Tim Lamb in Weston High St.

Archant

WESTON town centre will soon benefit from teams of street wardens, major events and better marketing after the success of a scheme designed to reinvigorate the area.

After months of pain-staking work by project co-ordinators, the Weston Business Improvement District (BID) has been voted through by traders in the resort’s centre and the town may start seeing the benefits as early as next month.

Scheme bosses say the success of the BID will help to revive the town following the closure of several High Street shops over the past few months.

Having launched the BID scheme last year, the town centre’s 700 rateable businesses were balloted in February to vote on the scheme.

Of those businesses, 33 per cent voted and 67 per cent of those that voted said ‘yes’ to the scheme.

The result means Weston will join 130 towns and cities across the UK in having a BID scheme.

Among the schemes the BID team will start implementing in April, is employing a team of street wardens responsible for tidying up the town and dealing with security issues.

In partnership with the BID, North Somerset Council is also set to pay to transform part of the Town Square between the Winter Gardens and High Street into an entertainment venue to host major events.

The Orchard Meadows area and others away from the High Street are also set to benefit from more signs, security and marketing.

Town centre manager and BID co-ordinator Steve Townsend said: “We are so grateful to all who have helped us so much to achieve this positive result for a scheme that will help to put Weston back where it belongs, as a first-rate seaside shopping resort.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners - businesses, police and the councils to deliver what they have asked for, and we have pledged to do this as detailed in the BID plan.”

BID chairman Tim Lamb said: “This is a resounding mandate for a scheme to turn the town around in these difficult times. The Mary Portas review of the high street last year recommended BIDs as a key component to the recovery of many of our ailing town centres.

“I am delighted that Weston businesses have put their weight and support behind this scheme, we look forward to better times ahead for our town”.

* What do you think the BID should concentrate on in Weston town centre? Leave your comments below.

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