VOTING is now under way in the ballot of city centre businesses to decide whether the Newport Now Business Improvement District continues for a further five years from next April.

Newport Now is in its fifth and final year of its current operation, and levy payers started voting to decide whether to extend the BID to 2025 via a postal ballot on October 31.

They have until Thursday, November 28, to cast their votes.


A new five-year business plan sets out Newport Now’s priorities for its second term – but also makes clear that if there is a NO vote the following would happen:

  • More than £1.3 million BID Levy investment in supporting city centre businesses would be lost over the next five years.
  • Additional funding and services that the BID leverages would be lost.
  • Newport would lose ground with other BID locations such as Swansea, Cardiff and Bristol (there are more than 300+ BIDS in the UK now).
  • Projects such as the gift card and shopfront improvement grants would cease to exist.
  • The website would close down.
  • Events such as Countdown to Christmas and the Festival of Classics would stop. The future of other events sponsored by the BID would be thrown into question.
  • No business utility savings.
  • The ability to lobby and advocate specifically for city centre businesses on issues like car parking, licensing and business rates would be lost.
  • No promotion of the city centre and its businesses in the printed and digital media.

All BID members should have received a copy of the 2020-25 business plan and a ballot pack via the post. The business plan is also available to download from the News section of the BID’s website

By Kevin Ward, Newport Now manager