The Andover Business Improvement District (BID) Steering Group met today to explore the potential for creating a BID in Andover.
If successful, businesses in and around Andover town centre could face a 1.75% increase in business rates.
A BID is a private company led and funded by local businesses to improve the area around a town centre with a remit beyond that of a local authority’s statutory requirements.
Ipswich-based BID experts Central Management Solutions Limited (CMS) told members of the Steering Group which include recruitment company Active Staff and representatives from Test Valley Borough Council that if successful, the organisation could expect to raise over £250,000 from an imposed levy of 1.75% on business rates.
Monies raised will be spent in ways decided by businesses within a defined geographical area. Whereas the area has yet to be decided, it is likely to include ASDA, the High Street, London Street, Bridge Street and the ‘cultural quarter’ which includes The Lights and Andover Leisure Centre.
At the meeting, Ben Collins from CMS said, “It’s early days and we need a lot more modelling, but I would expect the levy to be 1.75% with a £10,000 minimum threshold.”
A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot in which businesses vote on the proposal. It’s expected that the ballot will take place in October next year. There are currently 300+ Business Improvement Districts in the UK and ballots return a 93% vote in favour.
No decision has yet been made on how – or if – the Chantry Centre and its tenants are included within the BID. The Chantry Centre freehold is owned by Test Valley Borough Council, while the centre is managed by Capita on behalf of Aviva.
Businesses who wish to find out more about the Andover BID proposal and ballot process should visit the website here.