Moves to establish a Business Improvement District at the heart of Birmingham’s financial services sector have won political backing.
The city council cabinet has approved plans to set up a BID in and around Colmore Row.
All business ratepayers in the area will have the chance to vote in favour of paying an annual levy, with the money raised being used to pay for better security and environmental improvements along with marketing and promotion.
If firms vote in favour, Colmore will be Birmingham’s fourth BID alongside Broad Street, the city centre retail area and Erdington.
The levy will be worth £2.5 million over a five-year period, with all of the money being used to improve the Colmore Row area.
Further BIDs are likely to come on stream over the next few years.
Council regeneration director Clive Dutton said existing BIDs in Birmingham represented a “very significant advance” in the management of the city centre.
Mr Dutton said: “BIDs have the potential to make a major contribution by targeting additional and sustainable resources on the management of specific areas.”
He added that BIDs reduced “freeloading” among firms that in the past had refused to contribute voluntarily toward improvement initiatives, yet had benefited from city centre projects.
Gary Cardin, spokesman for the Colmore Business District Steering Group, said BID status would give the central business district a distinct
identity and allow occupiers in the area to exercise greater control over its look and feel.
Mr Caplin added: “We believe the plans we have for the area will make a real difference to those who work here and in attracting more business to Birmingham.
“The support of Birmingham City Council, along with the City Centre Partnership, is absolutely crucial to making this happen and demonstrating to businesses the advantage that can be brought through partnership working.”
Len Gregory, cabinet member for transportation and street services, said: “Birmingham played a leading role in the national BIDs pilot and helped to
secure one of the UK’s first BIDs in the Broad Street area in 2005.
“BIDs represent a very significant advance in the management of a city centre and help to develop partnerships between business ratepayers and the
city council, enabling businesses to play a more central role in managing and maintaining their local environment.”
“Business representatives in the area are now developing a detailed proposal, including the objectives and targets for the BID, the finance to be raised and the priorities for investment.”