Businesses and retailers across the Poole Business Improvement District (BID) area now have the opportunity to place their vote to support the scheme.

The 28 day voting period has begun for eligible voters who have received a series of documents including a Poole BID business plan, official notice of ballot and a postal ballot paper.

To ensure their vote is counted when the ballot officially closes at 5pm on Thursday April 28 businesses need to post their ballot papers back no later than Tuesday April 26.

On Friday April 29, the vote will be announced and if successful a new independent Poole BID company would be established to deliver the programme of actions.

The Poole BID would be funded by a 1.5% levy on the rateable value of businesses in the BID area (which includes the Quay, High Street, Dolphin Shopping Centre and adjacent streets). The levy would raise approximately £330,000 each year of the BID period, which would equal £1.65m over five years.

The Borough of Poole has unanimously backed the scheme which will help them to work closely with businesses for a better rejuvenated town, as well as oblige them to contribute to the BID as levy payers.

Chairman of Poole Town Centre Partnership board, Jonathan Sibbett, said: “Every vote from retailers and businesses in Poole is crucial – this is their BID so if they want to have their voice heard to shape Poole’s future they need to post their ballot papers back.

“We have undertaken an extensive consultation over these past nine months including presentations, consultation events, meetings and face-to-face discussions to ensure the BID plan reflects the needs and viewpoints of the people of Poole. A BID in Poole would enable us to plan for the town’s future and help the area to prosper once more.”

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Borough of Poole, said: “We support the introduction of a BID in the centre of Poole. It’s a proven formula, one which is already working in over 200 places across the country and it will give local businesses more say in the look-and-feel of our town.”

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