Northwich's BID for the future

Northwich Guardian: Some of the steering group members who hope to create a BID in Northwich. Some of the steering group members who hope to create a BID in Northwich.

BUSINESSES in Northwich are being given chance to shape their own destiny as the town enters a time of massive change.

This summer, traders and business owners will vote on whether to become west Cheshire’s first town centre Business Improvement District (BID).

This would allow them to raise between £500,000 and £1million during a five-year period, which would be ringfenced for Northwich and the businesses would decide how it is spent.

The emphasis is on funding ‘extras’ to improve the area, whether that is a marketing strategy, festivals and events or a better class of signage for the town centre.

Jane Hough, from Groundwork Cheshire, which is supporting Northwich to develop the BID, said: “Basically it’s the business community that decides how money should be spent.

“The BID is not allowed to backfill for public sector services, it’s about adding value to what’s already there.”

If businesses vote to set up a BID, all owners in a set geographical area will pay an extra levy of one or two per cent of their business rates, which will realise the funds.

Months of preparation have already gone into the BID, with an 11-strong steering group formed of representatives from Northwich’s national chain stores, independant shops and companies.

Its main task has been to consult with business owners on their town centre related issues and draw up a draft five-year business plan.

Feedback from this will help form the BID proposal, which is expected to go to the vote in May.

Jane was keen to point out that the BID should not be confused with Northwich Neighbourhood Plan, which is being drawn up by the wider community and has a greater say on how land should be used or protected.

“The neighbourhood plan is an overall strategic plan and the BID runs parallel and feeds into it,” she said.

If it goes ahead the BID would also help Northwich work as a unit when the regeneration of Barons Quay takes place.

Jane said: “It will work in partnership with Barons Quay so that it’s not an ‘us and them’, “We want town to be prepared for the regeneration so that it works and flows together – the businesses recognise that.

“We’ve got some significant regeneration projects in Northwich and the traders want to work with that.”

Comments (5)

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3:00pm Wed 12 Feb 14

nicksey says...

Got to say that it sounds like just another way to batter the town centre businesses.

Large numbers of shops in the town centre are empty because rents and rates are already too high and now to improve the town centre further they are going to be increased to pay for services and infrastructure that business rates are supposed to pay for anyway!!

Doesn't Jane Hough and the other 'steering group. members feel just a little embarrassed to be supporting this embarrassing rip off,

Why should the traders pay more on top of the already horrific rates to get what the council should be providing anyway or is this just another cynical CWAC method to subsidise the Barons Quay development and the other 'significant regeneration projects' out of the pockets of those who will not only benefit least from it but also possibly be put out of business by it.
Got to say that it sounds like just another way to batter the town centre businesses. Large numbers of shops in the town centre are empty because rents and rates are already too high and now to improve the town centre further they are going to be increased to pay for services and infrastructure that business rates are supposed to pay for anyway!! Doesn't Jane Hough and the other 'steering group. members feel just a little embarrassed to be supporting this embarrassing rip off, Why should the traders pay more on top of the already horrific rates to get what the council should be providing anyway or is this just another cynical CWAC method to subsidise the Barons Quay development and the other 'significant regeneration projects' out of the pockets of those who will not only benefit least from it but also possibly be put out of business by it. nicksey

7:30pm Thu 13 Feb 14

L Byrne says...

I agree with Nicksey. This sounds like a way of creaming off money from small retailers who already hard pressed.

It would be interesting to know exactly where the £500,000 to £1 million would go. I wouldn't be surprised if a big chunk of it went on 'consultants'. I wonder who those 'consultants' might be?

Here's a tip. Whoever is involved should run a mile from the CWAC Council mutters who believe that there is a need for another seven restaurants in Northwich to add to the three or four that have already died through lack of customers.
I agree with Nicksey. This sounds like a way of creaming off money from small retailers who already hard pressed. It would be interesting to know exactly where the £500,000 to £1 million would go. I wouldn't be surprised if a big chunk of it went on 'consultants'. I wonder who those 'consultants' might be? Here's a tip. Whoever is involved should run a mile from the CWAC Council mutters who believe that there is a need for another seven restaurants in Northwich to add to the three or four that have already died through lack of customers. L Byrne

11:35pm Thu 13 Feb 14

onered says...

If we can't support a fantastic Restaurant like Giulio's, how are we going to give enough support to another 7 Restaurants?
If we can't support a fantastic Restaurant like Giulio's, how are we going to give enough support to another 7 Restaurants? onered

3:45pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Northwich Lover says...

I think it's good the traders are prepared to take things forward in an imaginative way/ If you compare the size of the traders in the town centre and talk of a percentage of rates from each, the lion's share will come from people like Sainsbury's and M&S
I think it's good the traders are prepared to take things forward in an imaginative way/ If you compare the size of the traders in the town centre and talk of a percentage of rates from each, the lion's share will come from people like Sainsbury's and M&S Northwich Lover

6:36pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Daniel18 says...

onered & L Byrne,

Off you go moaning again...

The reason that there are currently so few restaurants in Northwich Town Centre is because there is no night time economy. This will be rectified once the Cinema opens, as more people will be likely to go into town at night to watch a film and have a nice meal - just like they do at Cheshire Oaks, Crewe & Atrincham.
The cinema & restaurants will attract people to Northwich from other towns that don't have cinema - such as Winsford & Middlewich (Even Chester doesn't have a cinema!)

Northwich Lover
I agree with you, we need to grab this with open arms, its the larger retailers who will pay the majority. We need to attract people to the town centre instead of simply moaning about everything.
onered & L Byrne, Off you go moaning again... The reason that there are currently so few restaurants in Northwich Town Centre is because there is no night time economy. This will be rectified once the Cinema opens, as more people will be likely to go into town at night to watch a film and have a nice meal - just like they do at Cheshire Oaks, Crewe & Atrincham. The cinema & restaurants will attract people to Northwich from other towns that don't have cinema - such as Winsford & Middlewich (Even Chester doesn't have a cinema!) Northwich Lover I agree with you, we need to grab this with open arms, its the larger retailers who will pay the majority. We need to attract people to the town centre instead of simply moaning about everything. Daniel18

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