Business Improvement District plans rejected
Date Added: 01/04/2015
Businesses on the Middlefields Industrial Estate have voted against plans to make the area a Business Improvement District (BID).
Following a ballot yesterday, only 42 per cent of businesses on the Sandy industrial estate, voted in favour of the area becoming a Business Improvement District. They make up 64 per cent of the rateable value there.
In order for the BID to go ahead, 50 per cent of the businesses who took part in the ballot had to vote yes, and those businesses needed to hold more than 50 per cent of the rateable value of all those who had voted.
The BID business plan was put together by a steering group of ten businesses from across the estate, and had it been agreed it would have seen businesses pay a levy on their rates to fund improvements to the estate such as new directional signage and increased security.
Michael Tucker, managing director of Manor Concept Refrigeration and chairman of the steering group, said that he was “disappointed” that the business plan had been rejected. But he added: “Although the result is not what we hoped for, the BID process enabled the steering group to get to know many more of the people and businesses located on the industrial estate.
“It has listened to their concerns and business objectives and hopes to build upon these relationships in the future through developing a business community which can do what they can on a voluntary basis.”
Central Bedfordshire Council worked with the steering group to support the BID development, as well as funding the ballot, and the authority’s Director of Regeneration and Business Jason Longhurst said: “I can understand the disappointment of members of the steering group who consulted extensively with other organisations on the estate about their business plans.
“However, we must respect the outcome of the ballot and hopefully businesses on the estate can build on the work that has been carried out and the relationships that have been fostered to help improve the area in other ways.”
Had the five-year BID business plan been agreed, Middlefields would have been the first Business Improvement District in Central Bedfordshire.