Businesses plan to invest in Morecambe

Businesses based in Morecambe’s town centre will be asked to pay a supplementary rate to raise funds to spend on making the town a better place in which to do business.

MorecambeThe process for kick-starting the introduction of a Business Improvement District (BiD) in Morecambe Town Centre gets off the mark when the towns business forum meets in October to elect a steering group to see through the process of developing the BiD.

The meeting, hosted by Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce takes place on the Wednesday 1st October at The Midland Hotel, Morecambe from 5.30pm.  Representatives from rate-paying businesses based within Morecambe are invited to get involved.

Representatives from independent and national retailers, commerce/professions, tourism, and the evening economy will form a Steering Group to provide strategic direction to the project and be the effective link with ratepayers within the BiD catchment area.

A BiD is a partnership between businesses, local authorities and other organisations to work together to improve the trading environment of a specific area to make it a more pleasant place to live, work, invest and visit.

Participating businesses pay a fee based on a percentage of their annual rates in order to fund improvements.  The funds raised are spent on projects and activities decided by the ratepayers themselves and are in addition to those that the Council provides under its statutory obligations.

Vicky Lofthouse, manager of the Chamber, said: "This is just the start of a two year period in preparation for a BiD.  We will need to talk to and involve all the business rate payers to establish what they want to fund through the BiD and then to work up a business plan and cost it accordingly.  All the ratepayers will then have an opportunity to vote on the BiD under formal electoral procedures.”