Two of Birmingham’s busiest independent shopping areas are being given the chance to take greater control of local facilities, boost trade and make improvements.
Sparkbrook and Springfield plus the Soho Road area of Handsworth could move to Business Improvement District status, which means they can raise a local levy on business rates and spend it on improvements, if a majority of businesses back the proposals.
Both are vibrant shopping areas are dominated by independent Asian traders with entrepreneurial flair and seen as ideally suited to become BIDs.
Business Improvement Districts, known as BIDs, have already proved popular in regenerating ten areas of the city including Erdington, Broad Street, Acocks Green and the Jewellery Quarter.
These have invested the extra money in clean ups, street wardens, reducing vacant shops, special events - such as festive lights and fairs, supporting new business, or security cameras - all designed to make the areas more attractive to shoppers.
Labour council cabinet member for jobs, skills and development Coun Tahir Ali said: “The proposed BIDS for Soho Road and Sparkbrook & Springfield are a really exciting opportunity for businesses to come together with a strong collective voice, reflecting their rich economic and cultural diversity.
"This represents a significant expansion of business improvement opportunities for areas within the inner city.
“Our experience of BIDs in Birmingham has shown that they provide a powerful platform for businesses and communities to attract growth and investment.”
Businesses will be balloted on the BID proposal this year.