Businesses in Salisbury have given an overwhelming vote of confidence in their city centre Business Improvement District (BID) being renewed for a second five-year term.
The ballot result has seen a record-breaking result, with the highest turnout for a renewal ballot of a town or city BID in the country.
The ballot saw an overall turnout of 66.08 percent, with 90.56 percent of businesses voting in favour of keeping the BID.
It means that after a challenging year for Salisbury, BID members have voted for the BID to continue its work from 1 April 2019 until 31 March 2024.
Across the country, the average turnout for a town or city BID going into a second term is 50.8 percent, with the average Yes vote 75.1 percent.
There are now over 300 BIDs in the country.
Keith Hanson, chairman of Salisbury BID and Director of recruitment agency Personnel Placements, said: “This is an outstanding vote of confidence that strongly demonstrates the importance of the BID to Salisbury.
“It furthers our determination to build on our many achievements so far and aim for even greater success in the future.
“Feedback from our members has influenced our business plan proposal for the next five years and it’s really heartening to see that they have now voted to support it.”
The confidential postal ballot was conducted by Electoral Reform Services. The record-breaking result was declared on Friday 1 March by Wiltshire Council, the independent Ballot Holder.
Salisbury BID is funded by more than 500 businesses in the city centre that have a rateable value of £10,000 or more. These businesses were eligible to vote in the BID’s renewal ballot.
Over the last five years, Salisbury businesses have invested £2 million into the city through the payment of an annual levy into the BID.
The BID funds have been invested into an array of initiatives including promotional activities, projects to improve the city’s appearance, cost saving schemes for businesses and crime reduction schemes.
Robin McGowan, chief executive of Salisbury BID, said: “We are grateful to the businesses who came out in such numbers and showed their support for the continuation of the BID.
“This record-breaking support for the BID’s renewal will help us become an even stronger voice for the city’s businesses.
“This is an exciting time for Salisbury and the future of the city is looking bright. Following the March 2018 incident, significant money is being invested into the city and several substantial projects are underway to ensure Salisbury becomes a more prosperous place than it was before. We look forward to continuing to represent businesses through this journey.”
Cllr Pauline Church, cabinet member for economic development and South Wiltshire recovery, said: “This is a positive result for Salisbury. We have always had a good working relationship with the BID, and we look forward to working more closely with them as we focus on the future and progress our ambitious plans for regeneration in the city.”
Catherine Mitton, executive director of The BID Foundation and Institute of Place Management, said: “The high turnout rate shows businesses are fully behind the BID and their plans really resonate with the diverse range of stakeholders in the area.
"It is fantastic result for the whole team. We look forward to continuing to work with the BID, local authority and other place stakeholders to realise their vision through IPM's Vital and Viable programme.”