Town votes no for BID

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A vote amongst businesses in King’s Lynn town centre has resulted in a narrow no for King’s Lynn BID.

The 18 month campaign and month long vote saw 54% vote in favor of the Business Improvement District, however the secondary count based on rateable value saw the vote recorded as a no vote.

The legislation states that for a BID to be introduced there needs to be a majority of all who vote, in favour of the proposal and of all of those, the total rateable value of all these businesses is calculated and needs to be a majority .

It is estimated that the ballot was swung by as little as 2% which could equate to just one average sized business.

BID Steering group member Darren Taylor said “This is undoubtedly a set-back for King’s Lynn town centre. The businesses have voted no to vital investment and support. We now run the risk of losing out to towns like Cambridge and Norwich and seeing continued decline of our town centre.

“However, I still believe that King’s Lynn has much to offer and I remain committed to working hard to ensure its survival as a vibrant town centre.

Businesses would have paid an additional 1.5% of their business rates and it is estimated that around 60% of town centre businesses would have paid less than £1 a day as their contribution and would have generated around 1.5million over 5 years to improve and enhance services and environmental conditions of this defined geographic area of the town centre. ”

Andy Wilson, Owner of Ikon, King’s Lynn commented “I’m really disappointed. We would have been able to do so much more in the town with the BID money. I sincerely hope that this doesn’t stop people investing in the town”

In the UK there are now over 160 BIDs in place, including Norwich, Cambridge, Bury, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

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