King’s Lynn BID plan backed by traders

King's Lynn BID logo ENGANL00120130717161354
King's Lynn BID logo ENGANL00120130717161354

Traders in Lynn have backed plans for a new levy on business rates, which will be used to fund town centre improvements.

Supporters of the campaign to set up a business improvement district (BID) say firms in the area can now look to the future with confidence, after a Yes vote was announced today.

But almost 60 per cent of eligible organisations did not take part in the month-long ballot.

Just over 53 per cent of participating groups voted in favour of the proposal. The votes also accounted for almost 55 per cent of the rateable value of the properties occupied by the participants.

The proposal must have a majority under both criteria for it to come into force. An initial attempt to establish a BID failed two years ago as it did not meet the rateable value threshold.

A total of 251 valid votes were cast in the ballot, out of 635 that were sent out. That equates to a turnout of just over 40 per cent.

But KL.FM managing director, and steering group member, Darren Taylor said: “This result is great news for the town and I’m absolutely delighted.

“The BID will bring increased investment into the town centre and gives every business, regardless of size, a bigger voice.

“I think the town can proud of what we’ve done and we can look forward positively to the next few years.

“I’d like to place on record my thanks to the BID steering group and its supporters, all of whom have worked so tirelessly over the last few years.”

Lucy Golding, owner of the Market Bistro restaurant in the Saturday Market Place, also welcomed the vote.

She said: “King’s Lynn is a truly wonderful town, full of great businesses and now we will have more funds and be able to attract more people to visit all year round.”

Under the proposal, businesses in the BID area will pay an extra 1.5 per cent on their business rates to go towards improved services and environmental conditions in that part of the town centre.

Officials say that up to 60 per cent of businesses would pay less than £1 a day under the levy.