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Voting begins for new Birmingham BID

Companies in Bournville, Cotteridge, Kings Norton and Stirchley will decide over next month whether to form the Lifford BID

Businesses in Bournville are voting on whether to form the Lifford BID

Voting has begun for businesses in Bournville, Cotteridge, Kings Norton and Stirchley - collectively known as Lifford - to become Birmingham's 12th distinct business improvement district (BID) area.

The Lifford BID would be a business-led partnership, with a voluntary board comprising representation from West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council as well as 15 private sector directors, drawn from across the BID area.

It said its key aims were to support individual businesses across the area and to make it more accessible to visitors.

A BID is a precisely defined geographical area in which businesses are charged an extra levy on their rates to pay for additional services which could range from food festivals to public realm improvements.

Committee member Steven Warburton of the Music Exchange in Stirchley said: "For too long, apathy and uncertainty have led to a decline in standards across this area, Stirchley in particular, and this is our chance as a business community to take matters into our own hands and lead positive change rather than relying on the actions of others."

The BID is being led by the Lifford Business Association (LBA), a group set up to support businesses in the four centres.

Chairman Robert Grosvenor added: "The LBA has fought for the BID to become a reality for a number of years now.

"We look at improvements taking place in neighbouring areas like Kings Heath and Northfield and can see the impacts that the BIDs there are having.

"By voting to support the BID, businesses in Bournville, Cotteridge, Kings Norton and Stirchley will be able to collectively invest in improvements to their own businesses and the whole community. The reality is that there is simply no alternative solution."

Businesses have until 5pm on July 30 to return their postal ballots and the result will be announced the following day.

If businesses vote in favour of the BID, it will begin trading as a new social enterprise company on October 1, 2015.

The ballot campaign is being supported by government funding and regeneration company Revive & Thrive.

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