Sheffield is moving a step closer to getting a business improvement district in the city.
The proposal, through which hundreds of businesses unite to raise more than £800,000 to spend on improvement projects, is recommended to be given the go-ahead when Sheffield Council’s cabinet meets next week.
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The scheme would work by pooling money paid by businesses in the city centre and using the cash towards improvements.
James Price, managing director of John Lewis and chairman of the BID champion group, said: “The Sheffield BID is about businesses in the city centre working together to make Sheffield a better place to visit, work and live, and delivering this through close working collaboration between the public and private sector.
“I have 500 people working in John Lewis and a very loyal customer base, and everybody talks to me about the fact that they want to see an improvement in the city centre.
“They want to see more events, more cultural activities, they want to see us join up the day time and night time economies, and they want to see new cinemas, better hotels and more restaurants. The Sheffield BID is our chance to make it happen.”
The BID will go to a ballot of businesses in the new year and, if a majority approve, could involve around 1,200 companies over five years.
Business owners will pay between £300 and £15,000 to be a part of it.
Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “This is an unprecedented opportunity to bring together the business community and public sector to implement realistic improvements that will benefit everyone in Sheffield.”
If approved, Sheffield Council would agree to maintain current city centre services such as ambassadors and Christmas lights at the current level for that period.
Businesses would also get more lobbying power.