BID to invest £2.5m into Bradford city centre is launched

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More than 600 businesses attended the launch of the plan to set up a Business Improvement District (BID) for Bradford city centre.

Launched at Pictureville cinema, in the National Science+ Media Museum the plan outlined how £2.5 million would be spent over five years if the BID goes ahead.

BID Development Group chair Ian Ward said more than 3,000 interactions with local businesses had taken place in drawing up the document which itself went through 75 drafts.

“We had to make sure we got this right, that we represented exactly what local business wanted, so we could deliver the best for Bradford,” said Mr Ward.

“Realistically, we haven’t delivered anything yet; the real hard work starts now because we need to win the hearts and minds of those 630 businesses in the BID demise area and persuade them to vote in favour of setting up the BID.

“But the sheer number of people at this launch shows just how much the Bradford business community wants this to happen.”

The final business plan document sets out a strategy for improving the city centre with money invested by businesses through an annual levy, based on a small percentage on top of their business rates.

Similar schemes operate in Sheffield and Leeds.

A typical small business would pay £3.61 per week, a medium-sized business with a rateable value of, for instance, £65,000 would pay less than £16 per week and the cost to a large business, with a rateable value of £150,000, would be

about £36 per week.

The Business Plan is already being backed by a host of small businesses as well as The Broadway and Kirkgate shopping centres, Little Germany Action Ltd, the University of Bradford, Bradford College, Bradford City football club, Provident Financial, Yorkshire Building Society, SunbridgeWells, Bradford Civic Society and Kala Sangam.

It is based on four themes of improving the city centre, under the Clean, Safe, Alive and Promoted.

“It’s all about additionality,” said Mr Ward. “The BID will provide services and enhancements over and above the basic service Bradford Council can provide.

“It will give businesses the power and funding to take action to make significant, targeted and sustained improvements to our city centre.”