Business urged to back initiative that could generate millions

Chairman George Buchanan and manager Sally Gillborn, of North Nottinghamshire Place, launch the BID campaign
Chairman George Buchanan and manager Sally Gillborn, of North Nottinghamshire Place, launch the BID campaign

Businesses are being urged to back a major, new initiative that could generate £3.2 million in funding for the Worksop and Retford area over the next five years.

Companies will begin voting next month on whether to create what would be the largest Business Improvement District (BID) in the country.

The move is seen as an opportunity to showcase the best North Nottinghamshire can offer, highlighting the business community and allowing firms to direct and implement a range of economy-boosting initiatives.

The £3.2 million in funding would be raised by introducing a capped levy on businesses in the Worksop and Retford area.

Sally Gillborn, manager of the North Nottinghamshire Place organisation, who is fronting the drive, said creating a BID would bring huge benefits for local businesses and the wider community.

“We have ambitious and ground-breaking plans to deliver the UK’s first area-wide, place-shaping BID,” said Sally. “Totally business-managed and led, a BID would put businesses in the driving seat, enabling them to determine how the £3.2 million is invested back into our area over the next five years.”

A five-year business plan, launched this week, highlights a number of investment opportunities that have already been suggested by the local business community. They include growing business opportunities, boosting tourism, retaining local talent and maintaining a safe and clean environment.

Every business in the area will play a part and benefit the BID process, although only those above a certain rateable value will be directly involved in the vote, which will be over a four-week period, beginning on Tuesday, April 18.

At the launch of the BID process, held at Hodsock Priory in Blyth on Wednesday, local businesses heard of a similar success story in Lincoln from Matt Corrigan, chief executive officer of Lincoln Business Improvement Group. There are also several roadshows taking place at various locations, providing further details on the idea, while a social media campaign has been launched too.

Sally, who has been working on the BID initiative for 18 months, added: “We appeal to business people to vote yes to help make a better North

Nottinghamshire for our businesses and local community.” If successful, it will be in place by September.