By Joshua Robinson –
Businesses, landlords, and property owners in Brighouse are being asked to back the town and vote ‘yes’ in a ballot on whether the town’s BID should continue for another five years.
The BID (Business Improvement District) launched in April 2019 after securing a yes vote to promote Brighouse, support the town centre’s businesses, shops, and venues, and ensure a calendar of events, activities, and attractions encouraging people to visit, shop, spend and return to Brighouse.
Now, as the five-year term draws to a close, the team behind the BID is asking businesses for a further five-year term from 2024 to 2029 and outlining the plans to use the investment generated from Brighouse businesses for Brighouse.
A postal vote, conducted by Calderdale Council, will be held between Thursday 26 October, and the formal ballot date of Thursday 23 November. The owners of all non-domestic buildings and land within the BID boundary are eligible to vote.
Since the BID began its work, the number of visits to Brighouse has increased by nine percent whilst many similar towns suffered from declining footfall as they struggled to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, more people are spending more time in the town with the average dwell time of 1 hour 5 minutes in April 2023, up from 43 minutes on the same month in 2022.
To continue to back Brighouse, and ensure those trends can continue, three objectives are being set through which the programme of investment will be focused and delivered:
- A Vibrant, Clean & Safe Town – backing Brighouse to be a place where businesses want to invest and those living and working nearby want to visit, spend time and money, and return to regularly.
- A Welcoming, Lively & Friendly Destination – backing Brighouse to be a place where people from across Calderdale, Yorkshire and beyond choose to visit, attracted by events, shops and venues, and encouraged to return by the positive welcome and experience they receive.
- A Place Where Business Can Thrive – backing Brighouse to be a place where the businesses of today can grow and the businesses of tomorrow want to be by providing insight, information and support and ensure the voice of every business in every part of the town centre is heard.
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The area covered by the proposed BID for 2024-2029 will have the same boundaries as the existing district, and all properties and businesses within this, with a rateable value of above £2,000, will be asked to invest a levy of 1.99% of that rateable value in year one.
The vast majority of those within the BID zone have a rateable value of less than £25,000 which means their levy payment would be less than £10 per week, while over half would pay just 55p per day. For that investment, £120,000 a year would be generated to be spent for the town in the town.
Lesley Adams and Euan Noble, co-chairs of the Brighouse BID, said: “The BID is here to support every business in the town centre, but we know that the BID needs to add value above and beyond the investment put in through the levy at a time when every pound counts.”
“We are confident we have achieved that, and we know there is a strong base to build on for the future. Brighouse outperforms other similar towns across West Yorkshire and around the country, and we are confident the role of the BID, and our Visit Brighouse events, promotion and marketing, has a strong and positive impact.”
“To ensure that continues, and that there can be decisions made in Brighouse for Brighouse, we are asking for those eligible to vote – from major supermarkets to family-owned businesses, to back Brighouse and vote yes when they receive their ballot papers.”
Lesley and Euan added: “Our proposal for 2024-2029 summarises what we do, what we have achieved and what we are planning. It also sets out what would stop in the event of a ‘no’ vote at a time when there are many different things planned for Brighouse.”
“The BID runs events like the 1940s Weekend and Christmas Lights Switch-On, Artisan Markets and Brighouse Gift Card – all of those activities would stop if the BID stopped.”
“Other schemes which are not run by the BID, such as the Brighouse Town Deal developments, Wellholme Park flood alleviation scheme and parking charge increases, would continue but with no local voice of business to ensure our views are listened to.”
“This is an important vote with an important choice to be made. We hope properties, landowners and businesses will vote ‘yes’, back the BID and back Brighouse.”
Full details about the proposal, including the BID boundary, those eligible to vote, and the vision for 2024-2029, can be found online at www.brighousebid.co.uk and from the Brighouse BID office on Bradford Road in the town centre.