Businesses in the centre of Solihull are being invited to a month-long series of meetings ahead of a vote on the town’s proposed £500,000 business improvement district.
The discussions represent a vital stage in the progress of the business improvement district (BID) project which aims to make Solihull town centre more attractive to shoppers and stave off the threat from other retail centres like Leamington Spa, which already has a BID in place.
The meetings will consider the results of a comprehensive survey of retailers and professional firms in the town centre catchment area and look at the priorities highlighted by respondents.
A BID is a partnership between businesses and the local authority covering a specific geographical area with the aim to develop projects and services that benefit the trading environment.
Businesses within the BID will pay for the project themselves via an improvement levy.
Every business in Solihull town centre will have the opportunity to vote for a BID, which would see each company contribute an annual fee towards initiatives to improve the promotion, maintenance and security of the town centre.
The meetings are to help companies come to an informed decision where the owners and managers of businesses in their respective streets can discuss what it will mean for them.
Sandra Grinnell, the Solihull BID manager, said: “The meetings are extremely important. It is vital and in the interests of each of the businesses to participate in the decision on what projects or services are required in the town centre.
“Not only do the meetings help to inform all those businesses within the levy area about the project’s development and inform them about the results of the questionnaire taken among all the companies, but they give an indication of the support”.
The pre-BID board aims to put the plans to the vote next February.
Businesses around the Colmore Row area in the centre of Birmingham voted in favour of introducing a BID at the heart of the city’s business community earlier this year. The Colmore Business District Business Improvement District (BID) went live on April 1 and is the third in Birmingham City Centre alongside the Broad Street and Retail Birmingham BIDs.
Businesses in Erdington town centre have already agreed to the improvement levies. The 23 meetings in Solihull are being held between July 13 and August 13 at St John’s Hotel, Touchwood and the Ramada Solihull, at 10.30am, 2.30pm and 5.30pm.
n For more details on the meetings contact Sandra Grinnell on 07867537134.