Sheffield Council will help fund BID scheme plan

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Sheffield Council will boost a plan to improve the city centre by £200,000 a year if businesses vote for it to go ahead.

The proposed business improvement district would work by imposing a levy on 500 firms that have a business rate of more than £40,000 a year, and then using that money on schemes to enhance the city centre.

Priorities include making the city centre busier with more events and better marketing, as well as an app to tell people where parking is available and cheapest.

The scheme would raise £800,000 a year, but the council is set to put in another £200,000, to take the total to £1 million.

Coun Julie Dore, council leader, said: “That £800,000 will be used for events and projects that we would have been expected to do as a council, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to do that. so we have to look at other ways of bringing in that money.

“This will benefit the businesses more than it does the council.”

The authority recently announced proposals to save up to £63m, including shedding a maximum of 200 jobs and raising council tax.

Coun Dore said money had already been allocated in case the ballot resulted in a positive vote and the scheme was agreed as a reality.

Businesses will begin to cast their vote on the innovation district idea from Thursday, February 12.

The result will be known after a month.