City’s Business Improvement District given mandate for another five years

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Hull Business Improvement District (BID) will continue its work for another five years after securing an emphatic win in its latest renewal ballot.

The BID, which was set up in 2006, gained 81% of votes cast in the ballot of member businesses in Hull city centre.

The ballot also returned a majority of nearly 87% in terms of the rateable value of business premises which took part in the vote. HullBID’s renewal target was a 50% majority in each category.

Jim Harris, chair of the HullBID board of directors and manager of St Stephen’s Shopping Centre in Hull, said: “This is a fantastic result, especially in the light of the existing circumstances, and a great endorsement from our members who have been through similarly difficult times yet who still felt the contribution in the past and going forward of HullBID is more worthwhile than ever.”

Kathryn Shillito, HullBID executive director, thanked businesses for delivering such strong support.

She said: “I am very grateful to the members who have turned out to vote for us and the strong majority shows their determination for HullBID to continue.

“We have always had a robust business plan each year but the past 18 months have proved particularly difficult for businesses and we turned our attention to driving them to grants and other financial support when it really mattered.

“The operational team were still out keeping a check on buildings and making sure cleanliness was maintained.

“We have already taken steps to ensure the next five years will bring positive results for businesses but the really important point is that as an organisation we are here to offer independent support.

“We are, and we continue to be, the glue that pulls businesses together to work with public bodies.

“We cannot work singularly and will continue to build our relationships with businesses and partners, and concentrate our efforts working with them to progress the city centre as we share the same vision.”

HullBID became the first business improvement district in Yorkshire when it was set up in 2006.

Shillito was appointed in 2010 and leads a team of five staff with support from a board of 12, ten of whom are drawn from the city centre business community.

In recent years, Bradford, Harrogate, Leeds, Ripon, Keighley, Sheffield, Wakefield and York have all set up BIDs to emulate Hull’s success.

Businesses were asked to continue a commitment to pay the equivalent of 1% of their rateable values to fund a programme, set by the board, of ongoing improvements to safety and security, cleanliness, communication and the general business environment.

A total of 1,126 voting papers were distributed in late August to the businesses and other organisations which form HullBID’s membership.

The deadline for returning the votes was 5pm on Thursday 23 September, with HullBID needing to secure a simple majority of votes and rateable values.

485 votes were cast by the closing date of Thursday 23 September. There were 395 votes in favour and 90 against, a majority of 81%. The turnout was 43%.

The total rateable value in favour was approximately £24.97m compared with £3.81m against, representing a majority of 86.7 per cent.

In 2016, HullBID secured a majority of 80% and in 2011 the figure was 53%.

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