An open meeting to help progress Ripon's Business Improvement District (BID) plans has been announced by the group that's currently spearheading the project, emphasising how Ripon "cannot afford to sit back and do nothing."
Ripon businesses are invited to attend the meeting on February 26 to find out more about the plans to establish a BID, and the opportunities that it could bring the city.
Ripon BID Task Group member John Alder, said: "The fact is that there are about 25 BIDs being established each year in the UK. Locally, Harrogate has recently voted through their BID, and Knaresborough are working towards a ballot. Other towns in the region are upping their game, and Ripon cannot afford to sit back and do nothing.
"Like many town and city centres, Ripon is experiencing pressures on its retail businesses from online shopping, reduced footfall and increasing costs. A BID offers the opportunity for those businesses to invest in their high street and have a direct say in what actions are taken to reverse this trend.
"All business owners within Ripon will have ideas on how to improve the local economy. A BID gives them the opportunity to turn those ideas in reality. "
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More than 300 BIDs have now been launched in towns and cities across the UK, where business rate payers are charged a levy in addition to their business rates bill in a defined area.
The revenue is then used to drive forward ambitious projects to benefit businesses, decided by businesses, which must be additional improvements that Harrogate Borough Council and other local authorities do not already provide on a statutory basis.
A BID would be launched if the majority of businesses, both in number and their rateable value, voted it in.
The open meeting for Ripon businesses and business leaders will be held at The Old Deanery, from 6pm to 8pm.
John said: "The Ripon BID Task Group are holding this meeting on February 26 in order to inform people about BIDs, explain the process and timescale for moving towards a ballot, and, most importantly, to seek help from other Ripon business owners. We need business owners from the city to join our working group to make the BID happen. "