BID proposal is ‘exciting initiative’ for Eastbourne

Cabinet councillors have given their support to the Eastbourne Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) scheme to increase trade.

The BID is led by a business partnership comprising Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce, Eastbourne and District Enterprise Agency (EDEAL) and business leaders, and has the backing of Eastbourne Borough Council.

The proposal is for business-funded initiatives to increase footfall and customer spending in the town as well as attracting more businesses and jobs.

Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, Cabinet member for Direct Assistant Services, said: “This is an exciting project that promises to further enhance Eastbourne’s appeal as a place that residents and visitors will want to come back to time and time again.”

The BID would be funded by a levy of 1.5% on each business within a defined area of the town centre that have a rateable value of at least £6,000, with a discount for tenants of The Beacon as they already pay a service charge for marketing and security.

The levy is expected to raise a total of £300,000 a year.

All businesses subject to the levy are entitled to vote in a secret ballot which will be conducted by Eastbourne Borough Council from 4 July to 31 July, with a majority needed for the BID to succeed.

Councillor Shuttleworth added: “To ensure independent scrutiny and secrecy of the ballot, the council will be engaging with the Electoral Reform Services to cover all aspects of the process.”

Shoes, Chair of the Eastbourne BID and landlady of The Eagle and Dew Drop Inn, said: “Our BID proposals have been developed following a number of consultations with businesses in the town centre.

“Our plans will increase investment and work to ensure that Eastbourne does not become a two-tier town centre by investing in areas such as Little Chelsea, Cornfield Road and the Seafront End of Terminus Road.

“Proposals include improved winter lighting, planters, events and security. You can check out all our details on www.youreastbournebid.com which includes our business plan and key targets.”

Published on 6 June, 2019