Ballot papers have been sent to Farnham businesses to determine whether a Business Improvement District will be launched in the town centre.
Businesses have until the end of the month to cast their vote.
A ‘yes’ decision will see around £1.5m generated – controlled by the businesses themselves – to spend on measures to improve the town centre.
BIDs deliver additional projects and services over and above those already provided by local authorities and other public bodies.
A task group comprising leading business figures, headed by Liz Flanagan of Elphicks, has been overseeing the BID procedure, and met with firms over the past few weeks – and has reported an encouraging response to its business plan.
The plan sets out how the £1.5m will be managed over the five-year terms of the bid, with priorities for:
- Marketing, promotions and events;
- Ensuring the town is ‘safe, clean and welcome’;
- Offering more support to businesses;
- Looking at access and travel in the town centre;
- Appointing a town centre manager to help the BID shape Farnham’s future and ‘realise its full potential’.
For a bid to be introduced, the vote must meet two conditions – that more than 50 per cent of businesses that vote must vote in favour, and the businesses that vote ‘yes’ must represent a greater total rateable value than those that vote ‘no’.
Derek Small of Colours Ltd of Lion & Lamb Yard said: “I will be voting in support of adopting the BID scheme.
“I believe Farnham will benefit greatly by business being allowed to control and have direct input into the way the town is managed.
“I think it’s a great idea for us to have the ability to be directly involved in the planning of events and spending that will continue to improve our town’s environment, creditability and appeal, keeping Farnham established and attractive.”