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DT1: BID calls for traders to join forces to build town’s future
THE Dorchester BID is calling on all the town’s businesses to work together to help build the town’s future.
This comes a month after the Dorchester BID (Business Improvement District) officially started its new term at the beginning of August.
Project director Phil Gordon said: “It’s good to be back and refocused on continuing to support the businesses of Dorchester.
“We all want the same thing – for Dorchester businesses to thrive and build on its great reputation.
“So I’m asking people and levy payers to come to us and voice their opinions and concerns and make the next five years’ projects that you want to have done.”
He added that any businesses that are struggling in the financial climate are more than welcome to ask him for advice and to act as a contact point for issues with the authority.
BID chairman Peter Legg added that he was also happy for people to get in touch with him to raise any concerns they have.
He said: “We have made our message clear in letters to the levy payers that if they have any problems that can get in contact.
“We have also got the AGM on September 18 and I would say to people please come along as that’s what the whole point.”
Mr Gordon said that the number of shops in Dorchester is still higher than the national average – with the number of empty shops standing at about 5-6 per cent instead of 15 per cent nationally.
He said that businesses which trade from Brewery Square have just come on board as levy payers for this new BID term.
He added: “Brewery Square is also in the BID area which is great for the town as three years ago there wasn’t anything there.
“It will have a positive impact in terms of long term funding for the BID due to the amount of multinational companies paying larger amounts due to their increased rateable value.”
The annual rates collected during the last five years was £109,000 but when the Brewery Square scheme is completed and all shops are on board it will give an extra £11,000 in funding for Dorchester.
Mr Gordon said the last five years of the BID saw many triumphs and campaigning by the BID and hoped that would continue.
His particular highlights were dressing the town for big occasions such as the Olympics, adding to the town’s appearance with hanging baskets, getting free weekend and Sunday parking, renovating benches, adding cycle racks and the BID parking voucher scheme.
In addition to ongoing projects several new projects will take place during the next five years:
Piloting pay on exit parking
Targeting cost savings, promotion and training focused on sectors such as business to business and night time
Introduction of wireless broadband
Enhanced information displays
All BID levy payers had the chance to vote for projects they wanted included in the business plan earlier in the year.
This is a list of the 20 projects that were listed on the BID’s website dorchesterdorset.co.uk
1 Information displays and maps
2 Brighten up Dorchester and approaches
3 Wireless broadband
4 More planting and greenery
5 Waste disposal and recycling
6 More employment in Dorchester
7 Shopping mall type shop maps
8 Destination Dorchester
9 Street furniture and infrastructure
10 Energy saving and collective buying
11 Mobile phone apps
12 Annual events list
13 Support youth organisations
14 More after four
15 Dorchester handyman
16 River Walks
17 Future employees
18 Adult and children bike hire
19 Biddable fund for events
20 Mobile stage
How will the BID spend the annual £109,000 collected by levy payers?
Town and marketing promotion= £32,700
Business support= £20,710
Safe, secure and enhance = £17,440
Clean & Green = £9,810
Fixed costs = £22,160
Reserves and constituency = £2,180
WDDC Levy Collection cost = £4,000
Note: There will be an extra £11,000 in the budget from the businesses at Brewery Square
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