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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham BID sets out proposed £2.8m investment plans

Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) has set out its priorities in support of more than 800 businesses and £2.8million worth of investment in the town centre.

Like all BIDs across the country, Cheltenham BID is legally required to run a renewal ballot to continue for a second term. The ballot will take place in June, and businesses will be need to vote yes if they'd like to see the BID continue its work.

Cheltenham BID was formed following an overwhelmingly positive vote amongst businesses in 2016 and has gone on to play an instrumental role in the town's economic growth and provide valuable support for the business community.

Over the last five years, using the £420,000 annual levy it currently collects from businesses, the BID has delivered a range of projects and services to support businesses, improve the visitor experience and give levy payers a collective voice on town issues.

The BID has been at the forefront of a number of major events and celebrations such as the town's enhanced Christmas lights, Light Up Cheltenham and the ever-popular programmes that bring Cheltenham's famous Jazz, Music, Science and Literature Festivals onto the town's streets and into businesses.

More than 200 town centre businesses responded to the BID's recent consultation and directly influenced the new proposed business plan. Businesses said they also valued initiatives including BID in Bloom, Tidy Up Cheltenham and the BID's collaboration with Marketing Cheltenham and promotion of the town through Visit Cheltenham.

The business plan for 2021-26 also includes a proposed extension to the current BID operating zone, which would see an additional 210 businesses included and benefiting directly from the BID's activity and support.

Alex Rose, managing director of Beards and chairman of Cheltenham BID, said: "Following our consultation with businesses earlier this year, the overwhelmingly positive feedback highlighted just how valuable the work of the BID has been - and how important it is that this work continues as part of the town's recovery.

"Building on the foundations we've laid in our first five years, the BID is uniquely placed to bring businesses together and seize the opportunities that lie ahead to revitalise our town centre and make a positive difference to the town as a whole."

Belinda Hunt, operations manager at Cheltenham BID, said: "What the BID has achieved over the past five years is in no small part attributable to the support we get from BID businesses and their enthusiasm to get involved with our projects. Businesses in the town have come to rely on us for everything from helping them make cost savings through to getting them trading online during the pandemic."

Martin Bundy, partner and branch manager at John Lewis Cheltenham, said: "Having worked in several locations across the UK with local BIDs and shopping centre boards, I can't highlight enough how strong the Cheltenham BID is by comparison. We should be really proud of the work that has been achieved during its first five years, and excited by the possibilities in front of us over the next term.

"The BID is a great symbol of how local businesses in Cheltenham want to be, working together for a mutual gain for our businesses and our community. There are numerous things that simply wouldn't happen if it were not for the BID."

The renewal ballot runs between 3rd June and 1st July 2021. If the ballot is successful, Cheltenham BID's second term will begin on 1st August 2021.

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