The Canterbury Society supports Canterbury city centre’s adoption of a Business Improvement District (BID). The aim of the BID is to improve the conditions in which local business operates enhancing the local environment in ways that attract more custom to the city, and by pooling resources for common goods such as utilities and Wi-Fi. In its simplest form, businesses within the city centre pay a levy equivalent to 1.5% of their business rates to a common fund, worth around £500,000 a year which is then used to make improvements to the city centre that increase the city’s economic potential. With two representatives from the Canterbury Society on the BID’s steering board, we are able to ensure that the interests of residents are fully taken into account when making spending decisions.
The Canterbury Society has supported the BID since its inception and is delighted by the success of the ballot in June-July 2014.The aims of the BID are wholly consistent with those of the Canterbury Society: to improve the local environment, to strengthen the community and to boost the local economy. We are particularly excited by its emphasis in its business plan for 2014-19 on the return of Christmas lights, street cleaning, floral displays the appointment of street ambassadors to fix problems on the ground. More broadly, we consider the BID to be an excellent model for how the private sector, the public sector and civil society can work together in the 21st century, collaborating on points on common interest to the benefit of all.
More information about the BID is available on the Canterbury City Partnership website.