It’s a ‘Yes’ from Sunderland Businesses

18 July 2013

Plans to set up a Business Improvement District (BID) have won a resounding ‘Yes’ from Sunderland City Centre businesses. 

The ‘Yes’ vote is a huge economic boost for the city centre, which will benefit from at least £3.4m investment over the next five years. A new BID company will be up and running by April 2014 with a remit to make the city centre a cleaner, brighter, safer place with more events, marketing and promotion and a more vibrant evening economy. 

Over 62% of the votes cast were in favour of the BID, representing over 67.5% of the total rateable value of all votes cast. The ballot saw a turnout of 38.1% of the 454 businesses eligible to vote. The work of the BID company will be funded by a 1.5% levy on the rateable value of those eligible businesses located within the BID area.

Andy Bradley, Chair of the BID Steering Board and Centre Director of the Bridges Shopping Centre, said: “This is fantastic news for Sunderland City Centre and will be a real catalyst for positive change. The BID plans to make the City Centre a more attractive and welcoming place for visitors, both during the day and in the evening. I’m thrilled that the support we’ve seen from the business community has translated into a ‘Yes’ vote. The hard work starts now to make sure the BID company is up and running and ready to start making a real difference in April next year.”