Firms vote yes for BID to improve your city centre

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Companies have voted in favour of a business-friendly scheme to boost investment in Wakefield city centre.

They have backed the formation of a Wakefield Business Improvement District (BID), which will have a budget to make improvements to make the city a more attractive place for companies.

Companies in the BID will pay an extra levy based on their business rates value to Wakefield Council. The cash will be paid to a not-for-profit BID company which will manage the use of the funds.

David Owens, of Wakefield Beer Exchange and chairman of the BID Steering Group, said: “This yes vote gives a stronger voice to independent businesses in the city centre who have been desperate to influence how their immediate environment is promoted and maintained.

“For so long business people in the retail, leisure, arts, culture, hospitality and evening economies have stood by frustrated that their voices have not been heard.

“This will give them that voice, but more significantly the chance to take action.”

Almost 170 business voted, with 105 in favour of the BID and 64 voting against it. After the ballot closed 169 votes out of a possible 450 had been cast.

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “This is great news for the city and a clear demonstration of what can be achieved by businesses working together.

“The funding will provide a huge boost for Wakefield over the coming years and I look forward to seeing the improvements it brings.”