A BALLOT is to be held to decide whether a Business Improvement District (BID) should be set up to serve two industrial estates in Blaenau Gwent which need "significant investment".

Blaenau Gwent council is proposing a BID to serve Rassau Industrial Estate, near Ebbw Vale, and Tafarnaubach Industrial Estate in Tredegar.

Funding of £22,500 was awarded by Welsh Government, with the council pledging a further £7,500 towards consultancy fees for the project.

A feasibility study, carried out in February, identified a “positive appetite” from businesses on both estates to develop a business plan to be voted on in a ballot in November.

If approved by Blaenau Gwent council’s executive next week, ballot papers will be issued on November 7, with the vote closing on December 5 and the results being announced the next day.

The BID would allow businesses to invest collectively in new projects and services that they have agreed.

Businesses would pay a levy towards the BID which would be ring-fenced to fund its projects.

The BID would be governed by a board made up of BID levy payers, to help decide and direct what they want for their area.

A council report says the scheme could bring “significant further investment” and lead to a “more positive business environment.”

“Within Blaenau Gwent, it has long been recognised that the Rassau and Tafarnaubach Industrial Estates require significant investment which to date the council has been unable to secure,” the report says.

“The BID would be a mechanism to raise the additional funding to reinvest into the estates which would support the retention and growth of current businesses and attract further investment.”

If the ballot is successful, Blaenau Gwent council will be legally obliged to collect the levy and pay it to the BID company from April, 2020.

The levy would be collected for five years, when another ballot would be held to decide if businesses wish to continue.

The council’s executive will consider holding a ballot with businesses on the issue at a meeting next Thursday, September 26.