Town grand prix?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 June 2011

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.


GRAND prix-style motor racing events could be staged in Weston if a scheme to re-invigorate Weston's town centre proves successful.

Consultation for the Business Improvement District (BID) project is under way, and town centre manager Steve Townsend believes success would provide a huge boost for the town.

The BID asks firms to pay a small extra percentages of their business rates into a central kitty, and they are then given control over how that money is used to improve the town. Around 570 eligible traders are being canvassed ahead of a vote in March 2012.

Steve, who is spearheading the campaign, believes the bid would bring in a huge influx of new business to the town centre, and could see a range of new schemes and events set up.

He said: “What other BID schemes across the country have done is have teams who can visit other towns and cities around the area, and essentially sell the town.

“I think that is something we would definitely be looking to do with Weston, we’ve got a lot to offer people who would come from farther afield to visit us.”

“We’d like to hold events in the town centre, perhaps something like a Monaco-esque Grand Prix along the seafront, although obviously it would be on a smaller scale, perhaps with go-karts.

“It’s just one of many ideas we’ve got at the moment.”

The consultation will see traders asked for their suggestions on what they would like to see done to improve the town centre, with cleanliness and security expected to be high up the list.

A calendar of major events, increased marketing, improved safety, street furniture or public art could also feature.

North Somerset Council and Weston Town Council have already shown support for the scheme by giving £20,000 and £10,000 respectively to fund BID consultants.

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