Businesses vote yes for Plymouth City Centre BID

Businesses have voted overwhelmingly for the Plymouth City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) to carry on its work for another five years.

The City Centre BID was one of the first BIDs in the UK when it was set up in 2005 and has now been voted back in for a fourth term.

Steve Hughes, chief executive of the Plymouth City Centre Company, which runs the BID, said:

“This is a huge vote of confidence in the BID from the businesses we represent. We can’t wait to get started on our new vision and help the business community deal with the challenges ahead.

“It’s been a tough few years on the high street but we are well-placed in Plymouth to adapt with an improving leisure and tourism offer and a wide range of spectacular events giving people more reasons to visit.”

The Yes vote was secured with a higher than average turnout for a BID election of 54% – 13% higher than in the previous ballot in March 2015.

For the BID to be approved two tests had to be met:

  • More than 50 per cent of those who vote had to vote ‘yes’
  • ‘Yes’ votes needed to represent more than 50 per cent of the total rateable value of all votes cast

Voting figures were:

Yes by number: 84%

Yes by rateable value: 78%

Nigel Godefroy, chairman of the Plymouth City Centre Company, said:

“This vote endorses all that we have achieved but there is much more to be done in a challenging climate. We now look forward to working with businesses and partners on our strategic vision to create a city centre of which we can all be justly proud.”

Councillor Tudor Evans OBE, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said:

“I have championed Plymouth City Centre my whole career, so I am delighted the BID has been voted back in for a fourth term. The BID provides a single-minded organisation dedicated to the city centre’s improvement and success. The council will now work tirelessly with the Plymouth City Centre Company to ensure the city has the future we all want.”

Andrew Scowcroft, Managing Director of Foot Solutions and City Centre Chiropody, on Royal Parade, said:

“I am delighted the BID has been voted back in. We have directly benefited from the BID’s work but its main strength is in working with all businesses to create a great city centre for everyone.”

Ray Robins, from Robins Brothers jewellers in Cornwall Street and chairman of the Plymouth Market Traders Association, said:

“The BID is essential for the independent traders in the West End. We were delighted with the BID’s work in creating a new brand and identity and we are pleased so many businesses in the West End voted yes to see this important work continue.”

Place management services such as cleaning, security and working closely with Destination Plymouth on events and marketing to boost the visitor economy remain key objectives in the new BID business plan. The plan can be viewed on: Shaping the Future of our City Centre

The BID has also pledged to work with partners to raise the profile of the city and maximise the recent investment in cultural, leisure and entertainment venues.

Also in the plan is a commitment to work with Plymouth City Council and other partners to find new uses, including residential and leisure, for empty retail premises.

The new five-year term will begin on 1 April 2020, with more than £700,000 to spend on delivering projects and services in the city centre across the following themes:

  1. The Plymouth Welcome (including safety and cleaning)
  2. Events
  3. Marketing
  4. Business Support
  5. Place Making