John Bywater and the BID4Leeds team
Clare Burnett

Member Article

Leeds businesses vote ‘overwhelmingly’ for BID4Leeds and £10 million investment

Businesses and organisations in Leeds city centre have voted ‘overwhelmingly’ in favour for the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID), though there was only a 38% turnout for the vote.

The BID promises to generate up to £10 million to invest in the city over the next five years and create the third largest BID in the country, by income and the 200th BID nationally.

Over 1,000 businesses and organisations in the retail, leisure, cultural, office and public sectors in the area covered by the BID were given the opportunity to vote on whether they wanted a BID and the results of the ballot have just been announced, 84% of those that voted and 86% by rateable value, backing the BID, however there was only a turnout of 38%.

John Bywater, chairman of BID4Leeds, the not-for-profit company set up to establish and run the Leeds BID said: “We are delighted that businesses have voted so enormously in favour of the BID. This is a resounding success and is great news for the city” “It reflects all the hard work that has been put in so far by so many people and demonstrates that there is a clear appetite amongst businesses for the BID which will come into existence on 1 April 2015.

“We now look forward to delivering the initiatives set out in the Business Plan to ensure that Leeds remains a top ranked city in the UK and goes on to compete with other European cities.”

Prew Lumley, partner with Squire Patton Boggs said; “I am absolutely delighted that businesses in Leeds have voted ‘YES’ to the BID.

“As a partner in a global law firm I truly believe that the BID will enable Leeds to boost its international profile which will, in turn, encourage investment and growth for the area.

“I have every confidence that the BID will prove to be a very positive force within the city.” The activities will be funded by a 1.25% levy charged to those businesses in the area covered by the BID that have a rateable value of over £60,000. Leeds City Council executive member for transport and the economy Councillor Richard Lewis said; “We are delighted that businesses have voted to support this idea, which will generate £2million a year of direct investment to further aid the development of the city centre and strengthen the Leeds economy as a whole.

“This is a great example of public and private sector elements coming together to make a difference and we look forward to the BID starting in April and making Leeds city centre an even more attractive and vibrant place to be.”

Mark Goldstone, head of Policy at Leeds Chamber of Commerce said: “This is a great result for Leeds and a strong message from the business community that they wish to support the ambition set out in the BID4Leeds proposal.

“The BID will invest and support activities which will benefit businesses right across the city centre.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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