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Otley business improvement campaign starts final push
The final push to convince enough traders to ‘vote yes’ to the formation of a new Business Improvement District in Otley is under way.
Business owners gathered last Friday to demonstrate their support for a pioneering scheme that would see £360,000 raised and invested in the town centre over five years.
Representatives from 14 local firms turned up at the Buttercross to urge others to get behind the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) by voting yes in a postal ballot that has just begun.
Otley BID committee member Rachelle Atkin, director of The Dandelion Consultancy, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the number of business owners that took time out of their busy day to come along for a group posting of their ballot papers.
“There was a good mix of organisations too, from new restaurant Il Buco to Specsavers, and from The Cutting House to Dale Eddison. Even though they all trade differently within the town it’s great that they are all so positive and can all see how Otley becoming the first BID market town in West Yorkshire will benefit their businesses.”
The participating businesses will decide how the BID money will be used to promote and improve the town – should enough of the hundreds of shops and firms within the proposed area decide to back it. The funds would be raised by BID members donating one per cent of their rateable value each year.
Ballot papers were sent out last week and have to be returned by 5pm on Monday, November 11.
Some of the projects the BID Committee is already working on, in anticipation of a successful vote, include:
- working closely with potential backers on plans to bring boats back on to the river, and with local groups on helping Otley make the most of next year’s Tour de France
- the creation of promotional banners in town and placing adverts in local media to raise Otley’s profile
- investigating how Otley In Bloom can increase its floral displays
- the production of a business-to-business directory to encourage local trading, and investigating how BID businesses might secure cheaper bills.
The BID committee aims to get some of those ideas up and running by April 1, 2014, should the scheme progress.
Visit otleybid.co.uk for more details.
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