Say Yes to Keighley!

Say Yes to Keighley!

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The Keighley Business Improvement District proposal reached a milestone with the publication, last week, of the Keighleybid business plan.

This plan summarises what a Business Improvement District could be for Keighley. The proposals for 5 years of activity following a successful ballot has been landing in the letter boxes of Keighley businesses.

The plan has the benefit of many contributions from Keighley businesses describing what they would like to see happen in the next 5 years and priorities as they see them. There has been a steering group made up of businesses, assisted by Bradford Council who would collect the additional levy payments on the Business rate when the scheme is approved.

The work has also benefitted from the advice of national business chains through Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets Initiative. Keighley won the assistance as one of the first 33 towns in Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets Programme.

Participating businesses include Boots, M&S, CO-OP, Santander, working with the Keighley Town Centre Association.(KTCA) The KTCA has been the body that has helped to co-ordinate the work .

Business Improvement Districts are not meant to replace Council services, they are there to add to the town centre experience and drive up footfall and town centre usage.

They do not have funds for capital improvements. This is expected to be 5 years of revenue investment to get the town as active, attractive and safe as possible to boost business.

BIDS are required to state who will do what in terms of how the BID and Council will work together and these documents can be found on the www.Keighleybid.co.ukwebsite along with the business plan, news and other useful information.

In Keighley’s position, the pursuit of BID status is not a sign of weakness, rather strength as the place has the ambition and organisation to actively pursue a better future rather than cope with what comes.

In some other towns and cities, BIDS have been ambitious and have explored other responsibilities beyond the initial proposal, however that possibility is for the future.

Its not a case of can I afford to support the BID, it’s a case of can I afford not to.
The challenges facing towns and cities mean that footfall is important to counteract the trend to on line shopping which can result in goods and services available locally being purchased from very distant providers.

The ballot will be held shortly with the final date being November 12 with an announcement on the 13th or very shortly afterwards.

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