Worthing Borough Council backs BID for 5 more years

Released: Wednesday, 06 July 2022

Worthing Borough Council has agreed to support the town's Business Improvement District (BID) for another five years and to push for closer working relationships with traders.

The Council last night (Tuesday 5th July 2022) confirmed that it would also work with Worthing Town Centre Initiative (TCI) - the not-for-profit business-led organisation which manages the BID - on larger-scale and longer-term projects to improve the area, such as the Big Clean-Up planned for later this summer.

A cross-council team of fixers will also be set up to tackle small-scale blots on Worthing town centre to ensure the area is attractive to visitors.

The “town team” of staff from different departments at the Council will be able to take quick action to tackle any problems that are identified, such as peeling paint, broken benches or faulty lights, without delay.

Cllr John Turley, Worthing's cabinet member for resources, said:

“Having a successful BID is a proven way of encouraging investment. The aims of the refreshed BID fully match our own, in particular its commitment to revitalise our town centre.

“By working closely with the TCI and our many brilliant businesses we can breathe new life into our town centre.

“We can swiftly make our town centre even cleaner, safer and more accessible, in turn encouraging visitors and shoppers to our streets.”

Worthing has had a BID - stretching from Heene Road in the west to past Splashpoint leisure centre in the east - since 2008, but traders have to agree every five years that they will continue to fund it and the Council has to be satisfied with the way it is operating.

The TCI is funded by a levy on businesses in the town centre as well as income from the town centre markets, with traders deciding how the money should be spent, such as on the BID.

Over the last five years an estimated £1.4m has been spent by the TCI in the town centre, including deep cleaning pavements, painting street furniture, hanging baskets, floral displays and Christmas lights. The TCI also employs two town centre rangers, who patrol the town centre helping shoppers and preventing crime.

A working group of councillors found that there is unanimous support for the BID amongst traders in the town centre, but that more could be achieved if the TCI worked more closely with the Council and its tourism and investment arm, Time for Worthing.

The Council pays a levy to the TCI as the ratepayer of a number of premises inside the town centre, such as its car parks, the town hall and the pier.

Now that it has the Council's support, the TCI will ask businesses to back the BID for a further five years. For the BID to continue, more than 50% of businesses that vote must vote in favour of it, and those in favour must also represent more than 50% of the total rateable value of the businesses that vote. If that happens, all eligible businesses would have to pay the levy, whether or not they voted in favour of it.

The TCI's requested levy of 1.25% of businesses' rateable value would involve the Council paying £14,234 for 2023/24.

If businesses vote to continue with the BID, it will run for a further five years from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2028.

For more information about the BID see:

Photo: Worthing town centre

PR22-100, PR22-117, PR22-123 - Worthing town centre

(PR22-117)

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Page last updated: 25 November 2022

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