No single group can control King’s Lynn BID, organisers say

King's Lynn BID committee members (from left) Vancouver Shopping Centre manager Abbie Panks, KL Bid

King's Lynn BID committee members (from left) Vancouver Shopping Centre manager Abbie Panks, KL Bid consultant Jess Cunningham, Maple Smith & Lemmon partner Sharon Edwards and KLFM MD Darren Taylor. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

No single interest group will be able to control a new organisation being set up to provide a £300,000 annual pot for improving a town centre, its organisers have said.

Independent retailers raised concerns that the new King's Lynn Business Improvement District (BID) – in which companies would be charged a levy, with the money going into a central fund – would be 'effectively controlled by major businesses'.

They called for money put in by independents to be spent on them.

However in an open letter to firms, BID steering group vice-chairman Darren Taylor said: 'The simple truth of the matter, and the way all BIDs work, is that no single interest group can 'control' a BID, whether that group is small business or big business.

'The core members of the steering group are not representatives of big businesses or small businesses. We are a group of people working hard to try to do what we believe is right for our town centre.'

Mr Taylor, who is also managing director of KL.FM, said members of the steering group were 'disappointed' to see negative comments about the BID.

He urged all of the town's 600 businesses to 'engage with the BID process and work with us in our efforts to ensure a more vibrant trading environment'.

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He added: 'As business owners and managers, we understand that trading conditions gave been challenging over the last few years across the whole UK economy.

'In King's Lynn, the Hardwick developments are having, and will continue to have, an impact on the town centre. That is exactly why the steering group is so committed to getting a 'yes' vote for the BID.

'What is clear is that if business choose not to engage with the BID process, don't tell us what they would expect the BID to try to do for them and actually get involved, then their voice will not be heard.

'Like anything in life, the more you put in to something, the more you will get out.'

The creation of a BID has been approved by West Norfolk Borough Council's cabinet, but will be put to a 'yes' or 'no' vote of all the town's businesses.

The ballot is expected to take place in the spring of next year.

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