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Exciting times ahead for Skipton

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					Exciting times
ahead for Skipton                                                    Bid Newsletter No. 1

A MESSAGE FROM THE SKIPTON CHAMBER OF TRADE
Dear Skipton Rate Payer



EARLY in 2009 businesses in
the central area of Skipton will
decide on a small levy on the
business rates which will help
transform the town and improve
their trading environment.
  The Skipton Chamber of
Trade and Commerce is putting
together a "BID" which will
raise funds to spend on projects
which have been identified as
important to enhance the town
as a place to do business and
improve its environment for
visitors and locals alike.


What is a BID?                               per cent of rateable value levy would raise
                                             more than £1million over five years, one per
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a   cent more than £500,000
defined geographical area where businesses    It is important to stress that a BID is
are invited to come together to make         wholly independent of council control.
decisions on improving their trading envi-    It is designed to fund projects which the
ronment. Through con-                                           business      community
sultation, a range of                                           wants but the council is
projects and services                                           unable to implement.
are agreed and these                                              All business ratepayers
are then voted upon by                                          who would pay a levy in
all the businesses in                                           the BID have a vote on
the area.                                                       the projects proposed.
  Funds are raised by a                                           The ballot will have to
small supplement on                                             meet two tests:
the business rates: a 2
                                                                         Continued on next page
  First, a simple majority (above 50%) of         a levy.
those voting must vote in favour.                   This levy is collected by the council but is
  Second, the yes vote must also represent a      handed over to an independent body made
majority of the total rateable value of those     up of representatives chosen from those cov-
voting.                                           ered by the BID area. The BID programme
  A successful vote results in the projects and   will be run by a board of directors, elected by
services being implemented through a levy         businesses from within the BID area - you
that is charged in addition to standard busi-     could be elected to the BID board yourself.
ness rates.                                         The vote for the Skipton BID is expected to
  Due to the cost of administering and col-       take place early in 2009. If successful, the
lecting a levy, businesses with a rateable        Skipton BID will operate between 2009 and
value below £3,000 are not included in the        2014.
BID scheme. This means that they do not             After this it could be extended or renewed,
have a vote - but nor will they be subject to     subject to a new vote.

                                                                                    Mill Bridge
                                                                                    and
                                                                                    Grassington
                                                                                    Road in the
                                                                                    core central
                                                                                    Skipton
                                                                                    area.
                                                                                    Industrial
                                                                                    estates on
                                                                                    the outskirts
                                                                                    of Skipton
                                                                                    are not
                                                                                    included in
                                                                                    the pro-
                                                                                    posed BID
                                                                                    zone


  An exciting programme to improve trading
 What could a BID do for Skipton?             Retailers have told us in past surveys that
                                              they want:
   We have set out on the final page of this       Better promotion of the town and
 document some potential objectives which events held in Skipton
 could be delivered for Skipton. However,          Enhancement of the town centre
 this is by no means an exhaustive or final environment and of surrounding streets
 list. We shall be consulting with you             Easier and more visitor-friendly park-
 between now and the day of the vote to       ing
 find out what you think and add to (or per-    Money raised through a BID levy will be
 haps subtract from) the list.                spent on promoting the town and its activi-
   We believe that a Skipton BID will deliv- ties, new environmental schemes and
 er a wide range of activities to improve the enhancing public safety.
 customer experience in Skipton and             Money raised via a BID will also unlock
 improve overall trading performance.         funding from a wide range of other
                                              sources for the projects.
What happens next?

We shall be officially
launching the BID propos-
al at a meeting on Tuesday
April 1 at 7pm in Skipton
Town Hall to explain it
more fully.
  We shall be writing reg-
ularly to all business rate
payers to update them on
progress and consulting
with them to find out what
they want for the town.
  We shall be explaining
on a one-to-one basis what a BID entails and listening to your ideas.
  Having obtained a consensus on what businesses believe is needed to enhance the
town centre, by the end of 2008 we shall prepare a detailed business plan setting out
our proposals. The vote will take place in February 2009.

Previous BIDS
                                                          A message from
Business Improvement Districts were creat-            the Chamber president
ed by the Government in September 2004.         I do hope that you will back a Skipton BID. If there
So far there have been 56 successful ballots    is a Yes vote next February, we will be able to carry
for a BID (14 of them for industrial estates)   out a whole range of projects which will be of
and 13 unsuccessful.                            immense benefit to the town of Skipton and also
Among areas where a successful vote to          help to improve trade.
create a BID was made are:                        If we agree to a very small increase in business
    Taunton                                     rates, then we will be able to implement a wide
    Winchester                                                     range of actions which the coun-
    Worthing                                                       cils have been unwilling or unable
    Truro                                                          to carry out. A BID is entirely
    Keswick                                                        independent of the council - their
    Holborn (London)                                               only involvement (apart from pay-
    Sleaford                                                       ing their share of the levy) will be
    Swindon                                                        to collect the money and hand it
    Great Yarmouth                                                 over to an independently run com-
                                                pany which we will set up if the vote is yes.
    Rugby
                                                  We do need your support - both in coming up with
    Paddington (London)
                                                ideas to improve our trading environment and back-
Areas where there has been a failed BID         ing the BID with a Yes vote. Thank you.
ballot include: Chester, Malton, Maidstone,
Leicester                                                                                 Joan Evans,
                                                      President, Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce


YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ON OUR WEBSITE - www.skiptonbid.co.uk
Here are some of the projects we envisage at the core of a Skipton BID

Marketing
Undertake a new marketing, media and publicity campaign for Skipton aimed at key
socio-economic groups to promote the diversity and profile of Skipton, particularly
during the winter months. Improve the street maps and information boards within the
town by use of such things as aerial maps, broadband wireless connections to
mobiles.

Festivals and lights
Finance and develop existing or new festivals to
improve the quality of experience offered to visi-
tors and sustain their long term financial viability.
Upgrade and improve the town's Christmas lights.

Car Parks
Install "pay as you leave" gates at main car parks
and install electronic signs on approach roads to
town to help and advise visitors seeking to park in
the town centre.

Environmental improvements
Improvements to alleyways leading on to the High
Street to include improved lighting, paving and
painting. Remove graffiti and unsightly detritus.            Money from a Skipton BID could be
                                                             used to tidy up eyesores in the town
Improved lighting on town centre canal towpaths.

Training
Provide a series of free training courses for businesses and staff which will help
them focus on new markets and maintaining and improving new markets in a mod-
ern business environment.

Research
Undertake customer satisfaction survey to provide up to date and relevant informa-
tion on visitor and local perceptions on measures needed to enhance Skipton town
centre experience.

....However:
This is by no means a complete nor a final list. For any BID to be successful we
need input from those who will contribute. We will be asking for your ideas in order
to achieve a consensus on how we can make Skipton a better place to live and trade.
 If you want more information, or discuss the Skipton BID in more detail, contact the Chamber’s
  BID co-ordinator, Ian Lockwood. Telephone 790993 or email him on slockwood65@gmail.com

				
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