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Business Group Urges End of Yorkshire Coast BID

A group of Yorkshire Coast business are meeting to tonight to launch a campaign for the abolition of the Yorkshire Coast BID.

Business Improvement Districts are business led partnerships which are created through a ballot process for an initial period of five years to deliver additional services to local businesses. The idea is that they allow the business community and local authorities to work together to improve the local trading environment and involve local businesses directly in local activities.

A levy is charged on all business rate payers within a Business Improvement District in addition to the business rates bill to develop projects within the Business Improvement District area.

After the initial term, Business Improvement Districts must be renewed by a further ballot every five years.

The Yorkshire Coast BID was formed five years ago in 2019 and a ballot will take place in May asking levy paying businesses whether or not they want the Yorkshire Coast BID to continue for another five years.

Harry Scott, Managing Director at the Delmont Hotel in Scarborough is one of those campaigning for a no vote.

The Yorkshire Coast Levy Payers Association is holding a meeting at South Cliff Golf Club tonight where they will be recommending a vote against continuation.

Harry Scott the Managing Director at the Delmont Hotel in Scarborough thinks it's imperative that those who can vote - DO.

Harry says there are many questions that need answering.

In a newsletter to levy paying business last September the Yorkshire Coast BID said that it had delivered 129 events in it's first four years, secured £1.1m in matched funding and raised £112k for charities.

It asked for feedback from levy payers suggesting that there could be a "streamlining" of it's operations saying:

"Having a Business Improvement District with scale and broad objectives has allowed us to flex and adapt to the many changes we have all endured over the last couple of years and assess where we feel we have been best at delivering impact.

A streamlined and focused BID, solely focusing on products that will directly promote the Yorkshire Coast and its members as a destination whilst
protecting the area and its wild/marine life for future generations, could be a positive move forward. Streamlining the objectives and activities of a future BID would also allow us to look closely at whether the current sectors included within this term should remain or not."

In it's September update the BID explained who can vote in the upcoming ballot saying:

If you are eligible to pay the levy, you are eligible to vote, so you decide.

Of those that vote, if a majority of businesses vote in favour of the BID by number and by total rateable value, the levy will be mandatory on all businesses in the BID area.

The proposal may exempt some businesses (e.g. those with low rateable values or certain sectors), but they will then not have a vote.

It also described what would happen if there is a ""NO" vote in the ballot adding:

"If you do not vote "YES", then the Yorkshire Coast BID will cease to exist in August 2024.

All services, such as the marketing, events and promotional activities funded by the BID, will also cease at that time.

With public sector funding being squeezed to the limit, please remember, there is NO PLAN B."

The Levy Payer's Association are holding their meeting at South Cliff Golf Club at 7pm tonight.


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