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Chippenham businesses invited to vote on BID renewal

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Chippenham BID manager Kathryn CroswellerChippenham BID manager Kathryn CroswellerBusinesses owners in Chippenham are to be asked whether they want the Business Improvement District to continue into a second term.

Chippenham BID was established on April 1, 2015 and will need the consensus of a majority of businesses – both by the number of votes and also the aggregate rateable value of the voters – to continue a second five-year term after March 31, 2020.

Under the BID scheme, every businesses in the designated town centre area pays a levy, based on the rateable value of their premises. Unlike business rates, the BID levy is used to directly benefit the business community.

Chippenham BID says that by the end of its first term, around £1.5 million will have been raised by the levy. Of that, £825,000 is due to be spent on marketing and promoting the town centre as a destination to shoppers.

This has included the creation of a website aimed at both businesses and visitors, the establishment of a town brand, and the roll-out of free town centre wi-fi.

Events have included the annual Christmas lights switch-on, the summer soap box derby, and the annual Chippenham business awards.

Of the remaining funds, £300,000 is earmarked for making the town centre clean and safe, £250,000 is being put towards improving access and car parking, and £125,000 has been put aside for 'backing business' – including increasing local loyalty, tackling business costs, and providing businesses with data and information to help increase trade.

The renewal process will start with a business feedback survey. Final voting takes place in October 2019.