The ballot papers have gone out to over 500 companies and organisations in Solihull to vote for a Business Improvement District (BID) in the town.

The voting will take place over the next few weeks and the result will be known by the end of March when, if it is a ‘yes’ vote, a BID board will be formed from representatives of the companies involved.

If successful, it will be their job to push through such initiatives as high visibility ‘welcome hosts’ to patrol the town centre giving out information and monitoring environmental issues, safer streets both day and night to reduce the fear of crime and increasing the town centre’s competitiveness.

It will be financed through a one per cent levy on the rateable value charged to businesses and organisations located in the town centre and initially will be in force for five years.

BID chairman Sue Yates said: ”If the vote is ‘yes’ there is no doubt that there will be exciting challenges for the new BID board.

“There are very many businesses and organisations in Solihull which want it to succeed and improving the environment, the feeling of safety and making the town centre a more welcoming place to come are giant steps to take.

“The board will be tackling all the issues head on and making sure that Solihull does not fall behind other neighbouring towns in attracting shoppers, visitors and companies seeking to do business”.