The Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID) begins the next stage in its renewal process this week as a Consultation Prospectus is distributed to members.

The BID comes to the end of its first five-year term in 2018 and is encouraging Blackburn town centre businesses to vote “YES” for a new term to run from 2019 to 2023.

Nicola Clayton, Chair of Blackburn BID explains, “The Consultation Prospectus will be sent to nearly 400 businesses this week and contains draft plans and proposals for a new BID term. We have been listening to our members though regular working groups, BID Conversation Meetings and a specially commissioned BID survey earlier in the year and have identified three key areas where we believe the BID can continue to make a positive impact on the prosperity of the town centre.

“The BID has made an impressive contribution to the town centre in Blackburn during its first term. Our targeted areas of investment have included marketing and events, environmental improvements, safety and security and initiatives to support businesses.

“The BID has invested over £1 million extra in the town centre, which would simply end without support of the businesses in the BID area.”

The BID has organised an exciting and award-winning range of events and promotions during its first term including Countryside Comes to Town, Blackburn Heritage Festival, Street Fairs and the Fire Garden with more already scheduled. September sees a Vintage Carnival visit the town centre and 2018 will see a full Christmas programme including a full-scale Christmas Market. The BID was also instrumental in Blackburn winning the National Great British High Street “Winner of Winners” Award in 2016.

The work around safety and security has included partnership working with Blackburn Business Against Crime, installation of new CCTV cameras to extend the area of coverage and the deployment of PCSOs in the town centre.

Environmental improvements have seen the installation of new bins and signage as well as planting and maintenance of impressive floral displays across the town centre. Blackburn has won National and Regional Gold Medals in the RHS Britain in Bloom competition for this work.

Nicola Clayton added, “The impact of the BID has been far reaching. It is only when people realise how many initiatives in the town centre are as a direct result of the investment by businesses who are members of the BID, that it would be hard to imagine Blackburn without a BID.

“I would encourage all businesses to take part in the consultation, so they can be part of shaping our plans for the next five years.”

Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said, “All the major town centre stakeholders pulling together has been a key component in winning awards like the Great British High Street and in the ongoing regeneration of Blackburn town centre. The Blackburn BID has played a vital role in bringing local businesses together to take part in that work. It is vital that the BID receives a strong ‘YES’ vote in the October election so that this sense of positivity can continue and grow.”

All eligible businesses should receive their copy of the Consultation Prospectus this week, but copies are also available to download on the Blackburn BID website www.blackburnbid.co.uk or you can request a copy via info@blackburnbid.co.uk

The BID is encouraging everyone to visit the BID website to see the full list of achievements and investments that have taken place during its first five years.

The BID renewal vote begins on 5th October 2018 and closes on 2nd November 2018. All eligible businesses will be sent ballot papers via Electoral Reform Services.

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