Liz Blizzard director of The Valley Clinic
Ilkley BID attracts support from wider audience
With only a days to go until Ilkley businesses start to vote on whether to approve an Ilkley BID (Business Improvement District) we look at some of the less obvious businesses who will see the effects of an Ilkley BID.
If successful, an Ilkley BID will support Ilkley businesses and bring more footfall and spend into the town by staging events and attractions, as well as reduce trading costs, being a voice to represent Ilkley businesses and directing decisions to improve the local economy and trading conditions.
Mark Heppinstall, Chair of the Ilkley BID Development Board explained, “The BID area is approximately the central area of town however many businesses which fall outside of the boundary are also keen to be voluntary levy paying members of the BID. We’ve spoken to lots of businesses and the wish to see proactive action in the town to improve conditions and footfall is overwhelming and appealing to a far wider audience than the 300 businesses located in the central BID area.”
Liz Blizzard, Director of The Valley Clinic in Ben Rhydding since 2008, commented, "Despite my business being situated outside the main part of town, I welcome the opportunity to support the Ilkley BID as a voluntary levy payer. The money raised, along with the efforts of those leading the initiative will help create changes and inspire improvements that will benefit all local businesses, residents, visitors and the community. The BID provides an opportunity for business owners to have a real voice representing our interests, promoting the town and ensuring Ilkley stands out as a great place to work, live and visit."
Ian White, owner of Bluehoop Digital Ltd, is also based outside the BID area but keen to be a voluntary levy payer, he explains, “Sadly I don’t have a say when the voting opens next month but I wholeheartedly support having a BID in Ilkley. I have chosen to voluntarily pay the levy as I understand the benefits to my businesses will be multifaceted. Ilkley is a truly amazing place and for businesses to come together and be given a voice via the BID is an opportunity we need to embrace. I’ve heard many businesses complain about issues which negatively effect them that they feel powerless to change. The Ilkley BID will give us the power to make changes which are to the town’s benefit.”
All commercial businesses within a defined area in Ilkley and a rateable value of £7000 or more will have the right to vote on whether the BID goes ahead and voting will run from 1 March - 28 March 2019. However it’s not just commercial retail businesses which support a BID in Ilkley. A representative from Ilkley charity The Clarke Foley Centre said “The BID will help organisations across the town have a better say in the decision making in Ilkley. I am so pleased that we are supporting it”.
The Ilkley BID Business Plan was launched in January 2019. Currently over 300 Ilkley businesses are being contacted with the latest information on how the Ilkley BID will work. In early March, ballot papers will be issued, votes cast and results announced at the end of the month. If successful, Ilkley BID begins operating in June 2019.