An opposition group has formed against Vision Buxton’s plans for Buxton to join the national Business Improvement District (BID).
A BID is a formal arrangement where businesses decide what improvements they would like to make to their trading environment, put it together in a detailed business plan along with how much it would cost, and what they would be prepared to pay to see it happen.
However, the group is speaking out about not wanting to be part of the scheme.
Chairman Ian Howarth said: “At this early stage we are actively attempting to raise awareness with local businesses as to what a BID is, and the legal implications and burdens put onto already struggling businesses.”
BIDs were introduced in 2004 and to enforce the levy towns only need a vote of 50.1 per cent in favour. This would then mean all companies with a non-domestic rateable value of £5,000 or above would have to pay for the next five years to the public-private partnerships or face court action.
Currently the BID is at the feasibility study stage and Mosaic have been contracted to conducted the £10,000 survey.
Adrian Brown from Vision Buxton said: “The only stage of this project that has been commissioned by Vision Buxton is a feasibility study to determine whether or not there is any appetite to form a BID in the town.”
Vision Buxton, who called on businesses to support the scheme, say the consultants have been speaking with a representative sample of up to 20 per cent of businesses in the possible BID catchment area and should they continue with the plans all business will be approached.
Ian thinks the payments will cause financial harm or worry to smaller traders. He said: “The payment is collected by the council and it is collected as one lump sum and is none negotiable, failure to pay, as has been seen in many towns, has resulted in CCJs and court actions against already struggling businesses.”
Adrian added: “I understand people’s reservations with regard to the compulsory nature of the contributions, but this is how the rules have been formulated.
“I know it’s difficult for some to fully distinguish between the BID levy and business rates, especially as they are collected at the same time
“However, BID members will have the final say on how funds raised will be spent.”