Ruth Mitchell

Middlesbrough retailers hoping for £25m BID success

Retailers in Middlesbrough could be set to receive a windfall of £25 million if plans for a Business Improvement District (BID) are approved.

Consultations are currently taking place in the city and if there is sufficient backing, firms in the centre of work will be given the opportunity to make a real difference to Middlesbrough City Centre.

In 2008 the Middlesbrough retail economy was valued at £937 million. However, if plans for a BID are approved, this could increase by between £25 million and £100 million annually.

Alan Weston, Middlesbrough town centre manager said: “ Over the past five years a large number of Business Improvement Districts have been set up around the UK that have delivered enormous benefits to the local business community, both economically and by improving the town centre environment.

“This is a tough climate for all businesses and BIDs offer an opportunity for the business community to proactively guide the development of the town centre.

If the BID receives enough support, 465 businesses would contribute a total of £510,000 each year, with Middlesbrough Council contributing a further £40,000 plus the management and administrative costs for the period of the BID.

Businesses and the Council would also work together to raise additional external funding – and many are hoping to emulate the success of other BID regions, which have raised as much as five times the amount contributed by businesses in their area.

Mr Weston added: “It is clear from the experience of other areas that BIDs can get more people using the town centre much more which will bring much needed revenue to the businesses based there.”

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