Canterbury BID looks to build on a decade of success

Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID), the team tasked with creating a vibrant, exciting, well-connected and successful business community, has unveiled its blueprint for the next five years as it looks to continue to champion the city.

Over the last 10 years, Canterbury BID has successfully unlocked £5.6m, including more than £1m of additional non-BID levy investment.

Unlike business rates, all of the BID levy stays in Canterbury to invest in ways that improve the trading environment. The BID’s focus has been on transforming the cityscape, empowering businesses and campaigning for the city.

In its latest business plan, the not-for-profit organisation outlines how it will deliver at least £3.6m of projects and activities based on the priorities of its members in the business community during the next five years.

The business-led partnership is proposing to allocate £1.19m to promote Canterbury, a further £919k to support local businesses, and £967k on enhancing the experience of visiting the city.

Lisa Carlson, chief executive of Canterbury BID, said: “The last few years have been challenging for high streets and city centres across the country, and Canterbury is no different.

“However, we start from a strong position thanks to our medieval and religious heritage, our global recognition and the quality of the visitor experience.

“Our business plan, developed by the team and the board in conjunction with our membership, will help ensure Canterbury remains Kent’s premier destination for visitors and residents, and supports a vibrant community of professional businesses.

“There’s a lot set to happen over the next couple of years, including spending £22m of Levelling Up funding, restoration of heritage sites and investments in the city.

“We look forward to continuing to champion Canterbury and improving the experience of the people who come here.”

The business plan provides the case to renew the BID’s mandate for a further five years with a ballot now underway among 650+ businesses within the city walls, as well as on Northgate, St Dunstans and Riverside.

It seeks their continued support for paying a 1.8% levy on their business rates, if they are above £5,000 a year. The ballot is running between 6 June and 11 July.

If approved, the money collected via the levy, additional fundraising, sponsorship and commercial income would continue to be invested directly back into Canterbury for the next five years through the activities of Canterbury BID including management of Visit Canterbury, Christmas lights and campaign, street decorations and more.

There are 340 BIDS across the country, with Canterbury BID the longest-standing of Kent’s three BID organisations, with the others being in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.

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