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Blackburn Business Improvement District

Town centre businesses have voted to extend the Blackburn Business Improvement District by five more years. The vote was overwhelming, with 86 per cent voting in favour of continuing the work of the BID.

The Business Improvement District, which first began work in 2014, includes around 350 traders, commercial organisations and charities in the town centre.

It has been behind many of the major events and initiatives in town, and was instrumental in being awarded the overall winner of Great British High Street of the Year in 2016.

The funding for the BID is raised through an additional levy of 1.25% on business rates for those businesses with a rateable value of over £10,000. The BID is operated by a board of business representatives who are elected each year.

The ‘yes vote’ will mean the work and investment can continue and develop until at least the end of 2023.

The scheme creates a potential £1.5m pot of money which will be invested in projects to enhance the town centre under three key themes: marketing and events; making the town a safer and more secure place; and environmental improvements.

Nicola Clayton, chair of Blackburn BID, said: “The BID has achieved so much in its first five years and it would be difficult to imagine the town without the BID and the additional investment it brings.

“We are not underestimating the challenges ahead for town centres, but working in partnership and continuing to innovate, we are determined that Blackburn will continue to be a successful place to shop, work, visit and enjoy.”

Councillor Phil Riley, executive member for regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, added: “This is great news for the town because working together the the BID adds tremendous value to the town, helping to make it the vibrant place that it is today.

“The BID brings in additional money to what is already being provided by the council and works to build and strengthen relationships between all the key organisations in the town.

“It offers businesses an opportunity to lead the direction of projects taking place in Blackburn and gives us all a chance to work together.”