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    Christians Against Poverty – Kings Lynn Francis Boekee

Local News

Business group needed ‘now, more than ever’, report claims

todayOctober 15, 2021 6

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The work of a group promoting and supporting Lynn town centre businesses is needed “now, more than ever”, officials have claimed.

Voting is due to open today on whether Discover King’s Lynn, the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) organisation, should be given another five-year term.

But the idea is already being backed by council officials who say it could generate more than £1 million of additional investment in the town.

King's Lynn town centre
King’s Lynn town centre

The BID was set up following a ballot of town centre businesses in 2016 and began operating the following year.

The group charges a levy on businesses in its area, the proceeds of which are then used to fund schemes to support those traders.

But, under BID rules, it is required to seek a fresh mandate in order to continue operating beyond the end of its initial five year term, which expires at the end of next March.

The organisation has now launched its final business plan for the 2022-2027 period, having held consultation sessions with town centre businesses during the summer.

And, in its latest newsletter, BID manager Vicky Etheridge said: “The Board and I think that now, more than ever, a BID is needed to shout out about King’s Lynn town centre, to listen and act upon business concerns and to bring businesses together to collaborate.”

Continuation of the BID’s operation is likely to get the support of West Norfolk Council leaders during sessions next week.

Documents to be presented to the authority’s ruling cabinet on Wednesday, and a panel session 24 hours earlier, have recommended the authority endorses the BID’s business plan.

Officials are also advising that members instruct the council’s chief executive, Lorraine Gore, to vote in favour of the BID continuing in the ballot, which closes at 5pm on November 11.

The report said it is estimated the levy charged on businesses trading in the BID area is likely to generate £223.500 a year, or more than £1.1 million over the five year term, to invest into the town centre.

The council itself is due to pay more than £19,000 in levy charges during the current financial year.

And officers say the BID has also played a key role in securing millions of pounds of investment in Lynn from the government’s Town Deal programme, both overseeing project delivery and ensuring engagement with traders.

The report added: “The continued involvement of the BID in shaping the Towns Fund and other future ‘place-based’ funds relating to the Levelling Up agenda will ensure that funds are directed in an informed way; to deliver the maximum benefit to the sustained vitality and prosperity of King’s Lynn town centre.”

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