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The votes are in! Harrogate set to become a Business Improvement District

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Published by Lizzy McEllan at 4:23pm 9th November 2018. (Updated at 4:46pm 9th November 2018)

It's official! The votes have been counted and verified: Harrogate town centre is set to become a Business Improvement District (BID).

More than 130 businesses took part in the vote with 82 per cent voting in favour of adopting it.

A BID is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill.

This levy, expected to generate more than £3million over a five year period, will be used to develop projects within the BID area.

Over the next five years, Harrogate BID aims to promote events taking place, improve access to the town as well as parking facilities, provide a town that is clean and welcoming, boost the evening and night-time economy as well creating a group to champion business interests within the town.

Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet Member for Resources, Enterprise and Economic Development, said:

“The result of this ballot is really exciting and positive for the town. Over the next five years, businesses will be able to work together and decide collaboratively what improvements they want to make that will benefit everyone – residents and visitors alike.

“A focused and aligned business plan for the BID funds will provide clarity of direction and will deliver a real boost to the local economy. We are looking forward to being part of this project and welcome the next steps.”

Wallace Sampson, Harrogate Borough Council’s chief executive and returning officer, said:

“I’d like to thank the Harrogate Borough Council elections team for their efforts in ensuring this ballot took place as seamlessly as it did. Although it is not of the scale of a typical election it is still as important none the less and the outcome will make a real difference to Harrogate town centre.”

BIDS were introduced as part of the Local Government Act in 2003, currently there are almost 300 across the UK. Further details about the Harrogate town centre BID, and what it means for the town, are available online at: www.harrogatebid.co.uk.

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