Business plan finalised for town centre scheme

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A business plan set to bring more than £1 million of extra funding to Hastings is to be voted on next month.

The vision of Hastings BID, if successful, is to make the town centre a better place over a five-year period and deliver a safe, clean and vibrant environment which is attractive to investors and a good place to work and live.

The project has four key objectives - to create a better feel for the town centre, better communications, a stronger business voice and to ensure a safer environment.

Colin Dormer, chair of the steering group, said: “The Hastings BID is the best opportunity we have ever had to bring in over £1 million of additional investment into the town centre.

“It will be used to deliver a range of projects that will not only enhance and improve the town centre but will have the potential to help businesses make their own money go further. We believe the business plan accurately reflects the wishes of the businesses in the town and, if agreed, will increase footfall and visitor dwell-time and will ultimately encourage people to spend more here.”

The Hastings BID will be financed by a levy applied to 460 businesses within the area. This will generate around £1 million in its first five years. The levy will be collected by Hastings Borough Council and 100 per cent of it will be passed back to the BID, allowing the company to spend it on approved local projects.

The BID will be managed by a board of directors that have overall accountability and responsibility to ensure that the business plan is delivered effectively.

Andre Brincat, manager of Marks & Spencers and member of the steering group, said: “The BID is a great initiative for Hastings going forward as it will bring additional funds through the levy to spend on services shaped by businesses, which will help with the sustainability of the town.”

All property owners within the proposed BID area will be entitled to vote if they are listed as a non-domestic rate payer on the date the ballot is issued. The votes will be issued by October 13 and must be in by November 10.

There is also a ballot box located on the ground floor of Hastings Borough Council, Aquila House, TN34 3AA, where business can also pick up a copy of the finalised business plan. The steering group will be distributing the plan to businesses in the local area over the next month.

Over the next four weeks, the Observer will cover each proposed objective set out by the Hastings BID project.

Visit hastingsbid.co.uk for more information.

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