Group bids for funds to boost Newport businesses
7:01pm Friday 18th October 2013 in Gwent news
A GROUP trying to set up a business improvement district in Newport is to appoint consultants to run the project, if a funding application to Welsh Government is successful.
Using cash from Newport Unlimited, the Business Improvement District (BID) steering group, led by chamber of trade president Alan Edwards, is advertising for consultants while it applies for a share of £200,000 to set up one of eight BIDs across Wales before the deadline on November 29.
The funding is not due to be available until 2014 but Newport’s BID steering group is expected to appoint consultants before the end of this year, to manage the process for a successful BID ballot and subsequently set up a BID company.
In August Mr Edwards blasted the Welsh Government for causing the project to “lose momentum” and urged them to “get off their backsides and do something.”
A BID encompasses all the businesses in a defined geographical area, forming a limited company which raises funds through a levy on their business rates.
The consultants are due to visit all businesses in the BID area, find out what they need, and a formal set of objectives will be put to a ballot for all businesses, when a 51 per cent vote for the BID will be required.
The resulting company would have a management board made up of business owners and representatives from Newport council, “allowing an even closer working relationship”, said Mr Edwards in a written statement.
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