King’s Lynn BID campaign ends in a ‘no’ vote

PUBLISHED: 11:36 11 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:31 11 April 2014

King's Lynn town centre, where traders have narrowly failed to back a business improvement district.

King's Lynn town centre, where traders have narrowly failed to back a business improvement district.

© Archant Norfolk 2013

Town centre traders in King’s Lynn have voted narrowly against setting up a business improvement district (BID).

The 18 month campaign and month long vote saw 54pc vote in favour of the move. But a secondary count, based on rateable value, saw the vote recorded as a no vote.

The legislation states that for a BID to be introduced there needs to be a majority of all who vote, in favour of the proposal and of all of those, the total rateable value of all these businesses is calculated and needs to be a majority .

It is estimated that the ballot was swung by as little as 2pc which could equate to just one average-sized business.

BID Steering group member Darren Taylor said: “This is undoubtedly a set-back for King’s Lynn town centre. The businesses have voted no to vital investment and support. We now run the risk of losing out to towns like Cambridge and Norwich and seeing continued decline of our town centre.

“However, I still believe that King’s Lynn has much to offer and I remain committed to working hard to ensure its survival as a vibrant town centre.”

Businesses would have paid an additional 1.5pc of their business rates into a special fund, which would have been used to promote the town.

It is estimated the BID would have raised around 1.5m over five years to improve and enhance services and environmental conditions of this defined geographic area of the town centre.

Andy Wilson, owner of the town centre Ikon store, said: “I’m really disappointed. We would have been able to do so much more in the town with the BID money. I sincerely hope that this doesn’t stop people investing in the town.”

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