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Final stages ahead of voting on St Ives BID

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: March 11, 2014

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BUSINESSES in St Ives have been told to vote yes for a BID or carry on volunteering to improve trade in their town.

More than 100 business-owners gathered to hear about projects a proposed Business Improvement District (BID) would deliver.

It was one of the last moves in a nine-month campaign with 200 local businesses consulted.

A BID would see a levy placed on businesses with money raised being invested back into the town.

Some BIDs have been heralded a success, such as the Totally Truro BID, which boosts trade through initiatives like the Christmas lights.

Elsewhere questions have been raised about their cost and effectiveness.

Last Thursday the YES campaign culminated with a meeting at St Ives Theatre.

Some objected to the levy and questioned the need for a BID.

Paul Ford, from the BID group, said: "The question was raised as to why businesses should pay for this when a lot of this was being done for free already in the town."

Mr Ford highlighted the heavy reliance on volunteers to organise, fund and set out current events in the town.

Voting runs until April 3 and, if successful, BID projects would start on June 1.

A part-time BID manager would be recruited and a nine-member board elected by levy-paying businesses.

The total BID fund would be raised over five years through businesses contributing 2 per cent of their rateable value – less than £7.50 per week for 75 per cent of businesses.

Proposed projects include an extended programme of events and "a national and international professional marketing package solely for the town".

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