Belfast One BID urges businesses to have their say on city centre priorities

Belfast One managing director Kathleen McBride.

BUSINESSES in Belfast are being urged to have their say on city centre priorities for the next five years.

Belfast One, the city centre business improvement district (BID) has been operating since April 2016 after 84 per cent of city centre businesses voted in favour of making Belfast a business improvement district in October 2015.

In January 2021, over 600 business will be asked to vote on whether they want to continue to invest in the city centre for another five years.

The result will be declared in early March after the re-ballot closes.

Run as an independent, not for profit company, Belfast One was set up to promote and support city centre businesses.

It's one of eight BIDs across the north.

Belfast One managing director Kathleen McBride, said: “After a successful first term, but not without its challenges, we are consulting further with our businesses on the projects they want to see in the business plan for 2021 to 2026.

“Since 2016 we’ve delivered key initiatives across the retail, hospitality and professional services. Ultimately this has driven footfall and spend within the city. We have also worked to improve the city centre physically - making it cleaner, more accessible and safer - as well helping to drive down costs for businesses through group purchasing and free training schedules."

The BID's initiatives include restaurant week, Christmas activities, and fashion.

“We know that Belfast City Centre is facing huge struggles in the face of Covid-19 and we want to make sure that our business plan for the next term includes targeted activity that will support our businesses next year but also for the long term," added Ms McBride.

“We want to continue to play a key role in bringing local businesses and other stakeholders together to help improve their trading environment.

The Belfast One BID is financed by a levy calculated on a business’ rateable value. For a successful re-ballot the BID needs over 50 per cent of business that do vote to vote in favour of the business plan.

Belfast One is encouraging city centre businesses to give their views on what they want to see in the business plan in an online survey on its website.

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