Welsh government must 'get off their backsides' over city centre - Newport business leader
THE chairman of the group trying to set up a business improvement district (BID) in Newport has blasted the Welsh Government for causing the project to "lose momentum,"
and urged them to "get off their backsides and do something."
Alan Edwards, who is also the president of the chamber of trade, has been left hugely frustrated by the long wait for information on whether the group will can apply for Welsh Government funding, essential for the project to progress.
The group need funds to help pay for the ballot which has to take place in order for a BID to be created.
But Newport's team kept being told that process was imminent, only for it not to materi- alise, Mr Edwards said.
A BID encompasses all the businesses in a defined geographical area who ostensibly form a limited company. They then raise funds through a small levy on their business rates. That money has been used by the BIDs in other cities for things like funding street rangers or funding 'gum blasters' to clean the streets.
In Newport, meetings began about creating a BID in February, but appear to have ground to a halt.
Mr Edwards said the delay was to the detriment of the city's businesses, who are still finding trading conditions tough.
"It's getting very frustrating.
"My message to the Welsh Government would be get off your backsides and do something, they're holding everybody back here."
A Welsh Government spokesman said the application pack allowing interested areas to apply for funding support would be published shortly.
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