Chester heavyweights back BID ballot

Chester heavyweights back BID ballot

Chester’s biggest businesses are amongst those urging fellow traders to vote ‘Yes’ in this month’s ballot to create a Business Improvement District in the city centre.

With voting papers landing on the mats of 509 businesses within Chester’s proposed BID area this week, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Primark, together with The Grosvenor Shopping Centre and The Chester Grosvenor hotel are just some of the leading brandsbacking the proposals from CH1ChesterBID – the team driving the campaign.

“The BID will generate £2.5million for all the improvements that we, as Chester businesses, have been calling for,” said Debenhams’ Senior Store Manager Kari Rodgers. “It is our duty to vote ‘Yes’ and make it happen.”

To get the green light, the ballot requires a ‘Yes’ vote from at least 51% of all those who vote. In addition, ‘Yes’ voters must represent at least 51% of the total rateable value of all the businesses who vote.

The potential of a successful BID campaign was also underlined by Jonathan Bradburn, store manager at the Chester branch of Marks & Spencer. He said: “As a company, Marks & Spencer has supported BIDs across the country because we recognise the potential a BID has to enhance and revitalise a city.

“Every ‘Yes’ vote is vital in helping us cross the finishing line and gets us that much closer to the bustling and profitable Chester city centre we all want to see.”

Many of Chester’s small independents, along with hospitality businesses such as hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés are also being asked to back the CH1ChesterBID plans and the improvements it will generate.

Jonathan Slater, Managing Director of The Chester Grosvenor, said: “Increasing the footfall in the city and encouraging the leisure market to visit is just as vital for the hospitality businesses as for the retailers.

“No matter the size or nature of your business, voting ‘Yes’ to the BID is voting for improved marketing of our city, larger events to attract a wider audience, increased visitor numbers and a more secure and profitable future, not just for the city centre but for Chester as a whole.”

Businesses within the BID area will be voting on the CH1ChesterBID plans throughout June and the result will be announced in early July. If the plans get the go-ahead, around £2.5m of private sector investment would be created over the next five years and reinvested back into Chester city centre.

And the message from BID campaign leaders this week is: Don’t waste your vote and don’t leave it to the last minute!

BID area businesses are being encouraged to come down to Chester Town Hall Square on Friday (6th June) to cast their vote and take part in a photo call at 11.30am. Voters are invited to wear branded clothing and bring along bags and other promotional items to increase awareness of their businesses.

The BID team will be on hand to offer advice or answer questions on any aspect of the initiative or the voting procedure and you can also email or call 01244 403680.