Your Councillors

Agenda item

Maidstone Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID)

Minutes:

Mr William Cornall, Director of Regeneration and Place, presented a report to the Committee which outlined the progress of the proposed Business Improvement District (BID) for Maidstone Town Centre.

 

Mr Cornall outlined the following to the Committee:

 

·  The BID process was being progressed by One Maidstone CIC, and the Business Plan and proposed BID area were in the final stages of development.

·  One Maidstone CIC was a separate organisation to the Council, although the Council held two seats on One Maidstone CIC’s board.
 

·  One Maidstone CIC’s board had a broad membership from across interested parties in the town centre. There were 14 members of the board representing a range of different types and sizes of businesses.

·  If successful, the BID would levy an additional 1.5% on top of business rates for businesses in a defined area of the town centre.  The money raised from the levy would be spent on the items listed in the BID’s business plan. These items would be in addition to the services that Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council already provided in the Town Centre.

·  Businesses located in Fremlin Walk, Royal Star Arcade and The Mall would pay a reduced levy of 1% due to having to pay a service charge to their landlord.

·  Businesses that were located in premises that had a rateable value of £15,000 or less would be exempt from paying the levy.

·  If successful, Maidstone Borough Council would be responsible for collecting the BID levy alongside Business Rates.

·  The BID would be successful if 51% of businesses by number of properties, and 51% of businesses by rateable value, voted in favour of the BID.

·  One Maidstone CIC had been canvassing businesses who were likely to be in the BID area, and were confident that they would cross this threshold. However this was dependent on Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council voting in favour of the BID.

·  There was not an active ‘No’ campaign against the BID, and many of the businesses that previously voted against the BID had stated that they were now in favour of the BID.

 

In response to questions from the Committee, Mr Cornall confirmed:

 

·  One Maidstone CIC would fold if the BID vote was not successful, therefore it was crucial to the future of the Town Centre for the Council to cast its votes in favour of the BID.

·  The cost of collection of the levy would be billed back to the BID organisation, so there was no financial risk to the council of taking on the collection of the levy on behalf of the BID.

·  The Council would be paying a net additional £5,000 p.a. if the BID vote was successful, however it would leverage in an additional £2.15 million of investment in the Town Centre over the 5 year period of the BID.

·  Those organisations exempt from paying the BID levy would still have a voice in the BID.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.  The ballot for a BID, as proposed by the BID organisation, is supported.

Voting: Unanimous

 

2.  Delegated authority is granted to the Director of Regeneration and Place to cast the Council’s 15 votes in favour of a BID in the ballot.

Voting:  For - 12  Against - 0  Abstentions - 2

 

3.  The Council will carry out the ballot on behalf of the BID organisation.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

4.  If the BID is successful, to enter into an operating agreement and a baseline agreement with the BID organisation.

 

Voting: Unanimous

 

Supporting documents: