Businesses in Newbury have voted to retain the Newbury BID for a further five years.
Seventy eight per cent of businesses who voted supported the continuation of the Business Improvement District – the highest percentage achieved in Newbury BID’s three ballots (previous ballots took place in 2011 and 2016).
Together these yes votes represent 81 per cent of the total rateable value of voting businesses.
This is the third successful ballot result for Newbury BID, the not-for-profit organisation behind the Visit Newbury brand, which was first formed by town centre businesses in 2012 and started its second term in 2017
The majority ‘yes’ vote for the BID means Newbury town centre will benefit from over £1.2 million of ring-fenced business funding between 2022 and 2027, with the aim of helping the town centre and its businesses thrive.
The new BID term and its projects outlined in the Term 3: 2022 – 2027 Business Plan will come into operation on June 1 2022, immediately after the end of the current term.
Melissa Hughes, Newbury BID CEO, said: “This is a great result for Newbury and we couldn’t be happier. The current BID team only came together around 18 months ago, so we are grateful our levy-payers have quickly recognised our passion and commitment to Newbury and we really value their support.
“We’re very much looking forward to implementing our new Business Plan from the 1st June. This “yes” vote means we can take Newbury to the next level with our programme of activities to enhance the town centre and its trading environment. Our focus will be on marketing and shaping Newbury as a place, helping the town centre to fully recover from the impacts of Covid-19, and providing the business community with a collective voice in local matters.
“We will continue to lead by example by working in partnership with West Berkshire Council and Newbury Town Council – who both voted in favour of a further BID term – and other key town centre stakeholders, to help create an even more vibrant town centre here in Newbury.”
Warwick Heskins, Newbury BID chairman, added: “What exciting news for Newbury and the future of our town! Newbury BID is vital in supporting our local businesses and protecting our high street both now and in the future, particularly as our local economy is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. Congratulations to Melissa and the BID team for securing a further term- something I know Newbury will reap the benefits from.”
And Lynne Doherty, leader of West Berkshire Council, added: “The BID has done really excellent work over the years in promoting Newbury town centre as a lively and attractive destination for visitors and businesses alike.
“Newbury is now outperforming many other towns around the country in achieving footfall figures back to pre-Covid rates and that is testament to the hard work of the BID and all the businesses and residents involved in supporting BID events and initiatives.”