Exploring ‘Business Improvement Districts’ ideas

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The potential to create five ‘Business Improvement Districts’ or BIDs in Mid Ulster is being explored in a study, commissioned by Mid Ulster District Council.

Businesses across Cookstown, Coalisland, Dungannon, Maghera and Magherafelt, are being asked for their views on the introduction of a BIDs scheme, which acts as a regeneration tool, generating investment in town centres, but also giving businesses themselves control of their own trading environment.

A successful BID is operated by a formal partnership of businesses which come together to decide what their priorities are, what improvements they’d like to see and to create a business plan which they then deliver in association with other organisations, including local authorities.

Cllr John McNamee, Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, said: “Developing a Business Improvement District requires the majority of the businesses in a defined town centre area agreeing to the plan, and making a financial commitment in the form of a BID levy. It’s an ambitious undertaking, but one which has been proven in other areas to improve competitiveness through active management and marketing.

“Clearly we are at a very early stage and simply assessing the appetite of local town centre businesses for the BID idea”.

Northern Ireland already has eight BIDs operating, from a small town such as Strabane to three across Belfast City Centre.

For information and to feedback your views via an online survey, visit www.midulstercouncil.org/BIDS.