Stirling firms back second five-year BID term
Business owners in Stirling have voted overwhelmingly for a renewal of a levy on their rates bill to improve the trading environment.
The decision to back a second term for the Business Improvement District (BID) is seen as an acknowledgement of progress made during the first five years of the levy.
There was a substantially higher majority (79% by number and 78% by rateable value) in favour of the second term compared to 58% in 2017.
It means the Go Forth Stirling team will press on with investing £1.8 million over the next five years.
Danielle McRorie-Smith, project director at Go Forth Stirling, said: “We are thrilled that our traders have voted so overwhelmingly in favour of the BID – today’s result is a resounding success for Go Forth and fantastic news for the city of Stirling.
“It highlights the confidence the business community has in the BID and its work over the past five years and the appetite to see us continue to build on our achievements and ambitions.”
Go Forth Chairman David Black added: “We are delighted with the strength of support shown by the result of this ballot.
“Businesses of all sizes have confirmed their confidence in Go Forth Stirling BID and delivered us a strong remit to push ahead with our ambitious plans for the next five years.”
Without the ballot and the strong show of support received, Go Forth would have ceased to exist on 31 August.
Stirling’s BID, which launched in September 2017, is one of 37 active Scottish BIDs and one of 333 across the UK as a whole.
Each BID works to enhance their city’s high street experience delivering projects specific to their business community’s needs.
In Stirling, the Go Forth team represents more than 600 business owners and the BID zone covers Stirling city centre and its surrounding streets taking in the area from Burghmuir Retail Park to the Top of the Town and out to Forthside.
Business owners with a rateable value over £10,000 pay an annual levy fee related to the size of their premises and the BID can access matched funding and grant schemes to support its projects and services.
Key proposals in Stirling include better street cleaning, ongoing free public Wi-Fi in the city centre and the continuation of grant schemes.
There are also plans for new events including an enhanced winter festival and the introduction of annual business awards.
Other topics high on the agenda include tackling parking concerns, introducing improved wayfinding and signposting around the city and addressing the number of vacant properties.