Poole Town Centre businesses gathered at the Dolphin Shopping Centre on Thursday June 25 to have their views heard, and learn

more about the proposed Business Improvement District (BID).

Organised by Poole Town Centre Partnership, local Poole businesses discovered how a BID scheme in Poole could help to provide new opportunities, increasing the vitality and viability of the town.

Guest speakers, Steve Townsend from Weston-super-Mare BID and Stefan Krause from Bournemouth Coastal BID, talked to the audience about their positive BID experiences and how the scheme has proved a huge benefit to the businesses within their areas.

A presentation was given reviewing the feasibility report that was undertaken in 2014 and its findings, explaining details of how a successful BID could work and highlighting the achievable benefits.

Attendees were also invited to ask questions, and give their opinions about what they would like to see delivered by the proposed Poole BID for the future of the town.

Jonathan Sibbett, chairman of Poole Town Centre Partnership Board, said: “This BID is all about the local Poole businesses being given a democratic voice and influence over what happens in the town. If successful, the BID will give businesses the opportunity to forward plan, and think about long term strategies to help them thrive.

“The evening’s discussion is just the start of the consultation process. We will continue to speak with all of the businesses from the high street, quay and town centre, answering any questions they may have, listening to their priorities and what they would like to see from the suggested BID.”

Following the launch event, a detailed period of consultation will take place with all businesses in the proposed BID area, to help develop an action plan to move the proposal forward. A draft business plan is expected by September 2015, with further detailed consultation over the winter with businesses; a yes/no ballot is planned to be undertaken in February 2016.  BIDs run for a five year period and if the company is to continue after this time, the consultation process begins again.  The next BID plan would be written after another round of consultations and a ballot to mandate that fresh plan.

There are over 200 Business Improvement District Schemes in operation across the UK, including a number of BIDs in Dorset.

If businesses wish to find out more information they can contact: [email protected]