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Public pledge enthusiasm for Business Improvement District in Weymouth
A PLAN to create a Business Improvement District (BID) in Weymouth has been met with enthusiasm at a consultation day.
Campaigners behind the proposal to set up the Weymouth BID held a drop-in session at the William Henry public house in Weymouth.
People were able to hear the plans for the BID and get their questions answered.
If there is a ‘yes’ vote for the new scheme – when the polls open in May – then every business with a rateable value over £6,000 will have to pay 1.5 per cent of that value to the BID.
This will go to restoring ‘Weymouth’s prosperity in the face of the economic crisis and the growing competition from surrounding towns and resorts’.
Brian Cooper, from the Weymouth BID group, said that it was an amazing opportunity for the town and added he was confident the project would get a ‘yes’ in May.
He said: “The people we are talking to are 90 per cent positive.”
Speaking about what he would like Weymouth to look like in five years’ time, Mr Cooper said: “There’s one word. It’s prosperity, because that’s what it’s all about.”
A few of the things the BID are hoping to deliver in the next five years include new major events and festivals to increase footfall and attract new visitors and regular town centre-themed street markets to retain local business and generate new shoppers from other areas.
Other ideas are street theatres and street activities and stronger links between the town centre and the harbour to increase footfall in the town centre.
Julie Cleaver, from the BID group, said she believed that the project would help to bring people to the town.
She said: “We had the Olympics and Paralympics. That was a spotlight on the town.
“This year is about building on it.”
For more information about Weymouth BID email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07557 142906.
Voice your views on the scheme
Alan Freemantle, from Jue’s ice cream and gift shop on the Esplanade, said it helped to speak to people face to face about the proposals.
He said: “I’m impressed. We have got to look forward.”
Ian Moore, from Howley’s Toymaster, is backing the BID.
He said: “As a levy payer for Dorchester BID I have seen the benefits that a BID can bring to a town and this is the perfect time to launch it in Weymouth.
“I am sure that most business rate payers in the town will agree and support the vote in May.”
Bill McCarthy, from The Edenhurst guest house on the Esplanade, also supported the idea.
Mr McCarthy said: “It’s a good thing for Weymouth.
“It’s going to help Weymouth a lot.
“We are not sure how much it’s going to help our business.
“But anything that helps Weymouth should help us.”