Businesses in Halifax are moving ahead with their plans to develop the town centre to become a Business Improvement District (BID).
The BID - which brings businesses together to develop projects and activities to help boost the local economy - will enable them to have more influence on the promotion and development of Halifax.
In turn, it’s hoped that this will attract more people to shop, work, invest and spend time in the town.
Sam Mason, chief executive of the Piece Hall and chair of the BID steering group leading the project, said: “Halifax is rich in history and is a great place to visit, but people beyond the region only tend to think of Halifax as the town with the bank.
“We have some great businesses here both large and small and we want to change people’s perception and improve their experience of Halifax.”
In the next few weeks, the BID team, which is led by local businesses, is implementing a consultation exercise to identify the improvements that will be addressed through the BID. These might include ways of improving the experience of people who visit the town as well as developing different ways to promote the town.
The consultation exercise includes surveys of businesses from across the town, together with a series of workshops where businesses can discuss ideas and thoughts for the future.
The team is also working closely with Calderdale Council to baseline the services provided through the rates. This information will then be used to draw up the BID Proposal and business plan, which businesses in the town will vote on in October.
Mr Mason added: “It is essential that the activity delivered by BID is additional to the work of the council. In places where BIDs are already established, it has been proven that if the BID works with the local authority it can drive even more value from the services they deliver in addition to the activity of the BID itself.”
The BID steering group is made up of experienced people from across the town centre, representing businesses from retail and bars and pubs to professional service businesses.
“They are all passionate about Halifax and have a strong commitment to the economic success of the town and every business within it,” Mr Mason said. “The key to a successful vote will be the fact that the improvements identified in the business plan will benefit the town as a whole and all the businesses within it, rather than just one particular sector or a certain part of the town.”