Poole Town Centre Partnership has announced the new Business Improvement District (BID) ballot dates for businesses to cast their vote for a better Poole and to begin the rejuvenation of the town centre.

The BID plan will be dispatched to all retailers and business owners within the town centre by the first week in March. BID voters will then have from Thursday March 31, when they receive postal ballot papers, until Thursday April 28, when the ballot closes at 5pm, to decide whether Poole will implement the  BID scheme devised and agreed by them.

Following extensive consultation with businesses in the Poole BID area, the decision was made to move the ballot date back to allow the Steering Group time to make sure the draft business plan incorporates the views of all the town centre businesses.

Feedback from the Borough of Poole has also been taken into consideration, and the Poole BID will be established as a separate company but in alignment with the Poole Town Centre Partnership on key projects for the benefit of Poole.

Chairman of Poole Town Centre Partnership board, Jonathan Sibbett, said: “To ensure the business plan reflects the aspirations for the town centre of all the businesses we have consulted over the past few months, we needed to dedicate more time to making sure the draft business plan was right. Now we are pleased to announce the new dates for the ballot when the business people of Poole will have the opportunity to vote to make a difference to the environment of their business.”

Jeanette Walsh, owner of Truly Scrumptious, comments: “I support the BID as I feel it will benefit the businesses in Poole, the funding can be used to encourage visitors and residents to have a pleasant experience whilst visiting all the areas in Poole, from Falkland Square to Poole Quay. The BID will promote footfall, which will lead to growth for all businesses and ensure a better economic future.

“Smaller businesses will be able to work together and as a result will benefit from personal recommendations ensuring more customers throughout the year.”

Some of the projects featured within the Poole BID proposal include:

Marketing and Events – a proposed five year investment of around £500,000

–              A planned marketing strategy for the town with a series of small events as well as an annual high profile landmark event to attract visitors from across the region

–              LED screens by the railway line, providing an opportunity to publicise Poole and the businesses within the BID area, with a news and weather feed, and the chance for BID members to advertise their special offers and promotions

–              Free Wi-Fi across the BID area

Poole experience – a proposed five year investment of £550,000

–              Conduct a comprehensive survey in year one of the proposed BID to highlight what areas need improving and to remove the street clutter

–              Work to fill the empty shop units to create a buzz and vibrancy

–              Install vinyls to the windows of vacant shops

–              Introduce a loyalty scheme to encourage spend in Poole town centre

–              Improve communication between the Borough of Poole and businesses within the town centre to ensure everyone is working together

Security and safety – a proposed five year investment of £125,000

–              Employ a BID ambassador to ensure all activity in the town is regulated and customers are welcomed to the town

Supporting business – a proposed five year investment of £37,000

–              Use collective buying power of all businesses within the BID areas to save money

–              To ensure the business voice is heard

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