Purley town centre – the High Street and Brighton Road – is in need of a lift. I am delighted to be supporting the Purley Business Association and local businesses to develop a proposal for a BID – a Business Improvement District. This entails local businesses paying a little extra on their business rates and then investing the money raised – plus hopefully match funding from various sources – into improving the town centre.
In order for a BID to start, all businesses paying business rates in the area are polled. 50% of those polled by number and by rateable value have to approve the BID. If it is approved, a surcharge of between 1% and 4% is made on business rates, and this money is then made available to the BID committee – representing local businesses and interested parties – to spend as they see fit.
Often there is match funding and grant funding available so much more than the money directly raised can be used for the area.
It is up to the BID committee to decide what to spend the money on, but other BIDs (including the one in Croydon Town centre, which has a budget of around £1 million per year) have chosen to invest in things like:
- Better parking and more parking spaces
- More frequent street cleaning or cleaning of car parks
- More Police patrolling the streets
- A town centre manager
- Advertising and promoting the town centre
- Improved street lighting
I am strongly supporting the Purley Business Association and local businesses to get a Purley BID set up. I believe that it is a chance to give the town centre a real lift. Anyone wanting to support or help the BID should contact Simon Cripps, Chairman of the Purley Business Association, on firstname.lastname@example.org.