A study exploring the feasibility of Buxton becoming a Business Improvement District (BID) has concluded a scheme would be ‘viable’ in the town centre.
Organised by Vision Buxton, the feasibility study has been conducted to see whether a BID would work in the town.
Roddie MacLean, from Vision Buxton, said: “There are volunteer groups throughout the town which give up their time for the good of the community and having a BID would mean businesses and traders giving a small donation to help enhance the area, increase footfall and attract new businesses.”
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.
The findings from the feasibility study, based on the financial analysis and consultations, state ‘a BID would be viable in Buxton Town Centre with the caveat that more detailed consultation will take place in drawing up the business plan with all’.
Roddie said there are more than 1,000 businesses in the town currently, and 341 of them would be eligible to pay the levy as they have a rateable value over £5,000,
He said: “It is disingenuous to suggest any businesses would fail because they have to pay the levy.
“The smallest business to pay the levy would start at a contribution of £100 per annum at a levy rate or two per cent, with the larger independent traders paying around £340.
“However bigger companies such as Morrisons would be paying £18,000 if the BID goes ahead, which will be a huge benefit to the town.”
Vision Buxton said the BID was now no longer its project and that it would need to be carried forward by a newly-created ‘taskforce’.
This would consist of 16 people from businesses of all backgrounds coming together to decide where the town’s boundaries will be and move it on to the next stage of seeing “if there is the appetite for a BID” in the town.
Roddie explained Vision Buxton would not automatically have a seat on the taskforce, and that there would be an open invitation to all traders to join.
He added: “I am aware there is an opposition group to the plans but we have met with the organisers and tried to address their concerns.
“We are trying to give Buxton the boost it needs to go forward and we want people to support the plans.”