Voting opens for town centre plan

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Business people in the town centre will soon be able to have their say on whether to adopt a proposal which aims to improve the area.

The aim is to turn the town into a Business Improvement District (BID) with four key objectives - to create a better feel for the town centre, better communications, a stronger business voice and a safer environment.

The finalised proposal has been available to view for the past month and on October 13, voting will open for four weeks to determine whether the BID will be adopted.

“I have seen first hand the difference a well-run BID can make to a town centre and for that reason alone, I’m only too pleased to back the Hastings BID,” said Ian Noble, owner of thebestof Hastings.

“The town already has a strong sense of community and this bodes well for town centre businesses to pull together to make Hastings a more attractive place to visit.”

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 Business Rates Revaluation also means a further 160 small businesses within the BID boundary will not pay Business Rates from April 2017.

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.

Matthew Bates, manager of Lets2Share, said: “Voting YES for Hastings BID will deliver real benefits to businesses that are not currently covered by other services and resource.

“This is the opportunity to embrace and deliver change and improvements that we actually want and need.

“That’s why I’m backing Hastings BID and encourage others to do so too.”

The BID will act as a collective voice to represent the best interests of hundreds of businesses in the town centre and will generate additional funding to inject into the town centre.

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.

For more information, or to download a copy of the business plan, visit www.hastingsbid.co.uk.

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