Detailed figures for the vote were as follows:
· Yes by Number: 76%
· Yes by Rateable Value: 80%
A not-for-profit BID company will now be formed to carry out a wide range of improvements and services from April next year.
The York BID has been established following more than a year of consultations with businesses across York. Establishing a Business Improvement District in York was first mooted 10 years ago,
The yes vote has been secured after a higher than average turnout of 42% of York city centre businesses with 76% voting to establish a Business Improvement District for York.
Establishing the BID will create a fund of about £4m to spend on a series of projects and services over the next five years. The money will be raised by charging a 1% levy on the rateable value of each business premise in the city centre.
The BID business case promised a cleaner City centre, with improved safety, physical improvements and a year round entertainments programme.
The York Council has backed the BID process for a decade but has been criticised over recent months for ignoring the needs of sub-urban commercial and shopping areas.
The BID business plan can be viewed here: http://www.theyorkbid.com/proposal/
Adam Sinclair, York BID chairman, and Managing Director of the Mulberry Hall fine china store in Stonegate, said: “I am delighted so many businesses and professions have voted to back our proposal. This gives the York BID a clear mandate to make improvements to York city centre over the next five years.
“We will now respond to our members and focus on street cleaning, rubbish collection, safety, the public realm, car parking, Christmas lights, street events and the evening economy. York city centre is ambitious but needs to inspire and satisfy its marketplace and thereby attract fresh investment.”
The BID will be business-led but has the backing of City of York Council and York’s new destination management organisation Make it York.
City council leader, Cllr Chris Steward, said: “I am delighted that businesses have voted for a Business Improvement District for York. We know this will bring many benefits to improving the quality of our city centre.
“I look forward to working with the BID company to ensure the centre of York continues to be a successful place to do business. Inevitably there were some businesses that did not vote for the proposals as they were understandably concerned about an additional cost. I am particularly focused on showing them the money will be a great investment.”
Deputy leader of the council, Cllr Keith Aspden, said: ““Today’s yes vote is great news for York. We know that Business Improvement Districts can bring significant benefits, not just to our businesses but to the wider local community.
“The new fund will see £4million spent on a range of projects to improve the city-centre, increase footfall and ensure York’s economy remains competitive. I would like to congratulate the BID team for all their work so far and I look forward to working with them in the coming months.”
Steve Brown, Managing Director of make it York, said: “Make It York is delighted that the BID has got the green light. We will work tirelessly to ensure that Make It York and the BID complement each other and work as a really close partnership. It is a fabulous opportunity to further develop the York experience for both residents and visitors.”
The York BID team will now begin work on setting up the company, recruiting a BID Director and preparing to start delivering services from next April.
For further information contact Steve Hughes, York BID Project manager on 07702 710322