Businesses across Chester have delivered a resounding ‘yes’ vote in favour of Chester’s Business Improvement District (BID) as part of a renewal ballot, giving the group the green light to deliver another five years of city centre improvements.
CH1ChesterBID won 84% of support from voters in the city centre during a recent ballot, which took place throughout June and ended on July 4.
During that time, 53% of city centre businesses within the BID area voted in the ballot, with the ‘Yes’ votes representing 80% of the total rateable value of all the properties that voted. CH1ChesterBID needed to secure at least 51% of ‘Yes’ votes on both counts to win the ballot.
Over £2million in private-sector funds will be invested in Chester city centre thanks to the decision, with CH1ChesterBID’s renewal campaign centred on an ambitious new business plan, which features a range of new and ongoing improvements across the city centre.
It incorporated a range of new initiatives, including improved digital infrastructure for city centre Wi-Fi and a unique Chester Gift Card to boost support for independents and high street stores.
Building on the success of the previous five years, the proposed activity ensures CH1ChesterBID will continue to spearhead a range of city centre activities, festivals and annual events, which have helped to increase footfall, dwell time and consumer spending since 2014.
Carl Critchlow, CH1ChesterBID Manager, said: “We’re thrilled that the BID has the support of so many businesses throughout the city centre. We represent such a diverse and expansive range of businesses, and we worked closely with them to develop a new five-year plan based on their feedback and suggestions.
“Our business plan was extremely well-received and generated an overwhelmingly positive response from our members. They felt we’d taken the time to understand the improvements they wanted to see in the city and have created solutions to help their businesses move forward.”
The BID team work closely with city centre businesses offering support on everything from marketing to city cleanliness. They also employ Chester’s popular Welcome Ambassadors, Monica and Luka, who provide visitors with a warm welcome and contribute towards the city’s overall charm and friendliness.
Moving forward, CH1ChesterBID will continue to be responsible for organising and implementing seasonal marketing campaigns and events at key times such as Easter, summer, Halloween and Christmas.
Carl continued: “As a team, we’re excited to start working on our new plan and are motivated to get things moving for the city. We’ve made a promise to our businesses and over the next five years, we’ll continue to work exceptionally hard to deliver on it and make things happen.
“There’ll be no resting on our laurels, as we look forward to the next five years. We’ll continue to work with key partners and stakeholders to provide support and make improvements that benefit both our businesses and the city.
“We want to thank our businesses for putting their trust in us and allowing us to deliver on an exciting new phase for Chester city centre.”
All businesses within the designated BID catchment zone with a rateable value over £18,000 were eligible to vote as part of the renewal ballot. In order to be voted in for a second-term at least 51% of businesses that voted needed to vote in favour by business vote and rateable value.
For more information on the work that CH1ChesterBID is planning over the next five years, visit www.ch1chesterbid.co.uk