Traders in Morpeth have heard details of a major vision for a more vibrant and thriving town following a successful application.
Morpeth Town Team launched its plans to create a Business Improvement District (BID) at a reception in Barluga on Tuesday evening.
Having secured funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government and British BIDs’ loan fund, it now has the resources in place to plan and develop the formal structure for the benefit of the town.
It is aiming to go to the vote stage – all qualifying businesses will have their say in a confidential ballot – early in 2018, with the aim of being up and running in May 2018.
A BID is a democratically elected organisation within a defined geographical area, such as a town centre, where a levy is collected based on the rateable value of businesses.
Morpeth Town Team, a partnership made up of the Chamber of Trade, Sanderson Arcade and the Town Council, wants to share in the benefits of the UK’s leading BIDs and achieve even greater success for the town.
Ken Brown, chairman of the town team and the BID steering group, said: “Morpeth epitomises all that is great about market towns.
“It has a rich heritage and culture, a great shopping offer and is a really good place to do business.
“We want to see more businesses capitalise on what the town has to offer and reap the benefits that come from being a leading market town.”
A number of leading Morpeth businesses met the Town Team in Barluga on Tuesday to hear more about the proposal and how they can play their part as ambassadors and advocates for creating a BID.
It has received support from a number of town businesses, Northumberland County Council and the town council and the steering group will work towards the completion of a business plan in August or September.
John Beynon, county councillor for Stobhill and a well-known member of the Chamber of Trade, has been involved with Morpeth Town Team since the outset.
He said: “Morpeth is a beautiful town – full of character and success stories. That said, it cannot rest on its laurels, nor can it ignore the challenges it faces, and therefore we must constantly improve.
“A BID, which works closely with partners in the town and the town and county councils, is, in my view, the best vehicle to help deliver those improvements.”
A newsletter is being issued to all businesses in the proposed boundary and there will be two consultation events in the Town Hall on July 18 for them to get more involved in the detailed planning.
To register for one of them via Eventbrite, go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/morpeth-bid-consultation-workshop-tickets-35671369025 or www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/morpeth-bid-consultation-workshop-tickets-35671623787
For more details about the events or the BID process, email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org