Skipton traders back BID for five more years

Craven Herald: BID chairman David Wathen BID chairman David Wathen

Skipton is celebrating after its businesses voted in favour of a second term of the Business Improvement District (BID).

The yes vote means an annual pot of at least £150,000 for each of the next five years to be spent on projects aimed at helping the economic prosperity of the town.

BID chairman David Wathen, who is due to stand down on April 1 at the start of the new five-year term, said he was delighted.

“This vote of confidence will enable the new BID team to build upon the strong foundations created over the last five years that have done so much to help Skipton weather the unprecedented economic downturn,” he said.

“Just think what we can achieve together for the economic benefit of Skipton over the next five years.”

Mr Wathen added the town would be the focus of worldwide attention with the arrival in Craven of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in July.

Out of a possible 486 business ratepayers, 233 voted in the month-long postal ballot, with 133 in favour, representing more than 57 per cent of the vote.

Coun Chris Harbron, leader of Skipton Town Council, said: “It is very heartening that, even in these difficult economic times, the businesses of Skipton have once again voted to come together and support investment in our town.

“Without doubt, this will greatly help Skipton to continue to thrive and prosper – and we will be looking to strengthen the already excellent working relationship between the town council, the BID and other partners.”

Chairman of Skipton in Bloom, Robert Heseltine, added: “Without the strong financial support of the BID, the sterling environmental improvements and colourful floral displays we have seen would not have been possible.

“It is tremendous news that many such projects across our market town will hopefully now continue to be supported by the business community.”

And Amanda Casey, vice-president of Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “The chamber would like to congratulate the BID Board of Directors for all their hard work and dedication in securing the BID’s renewal.

“This will create the economic boost that Skipton needs for its continuing improvement and successful future. The Chamber will continue to offer support wherever necessary to the BID and we very much look forward to working with them over the next five years.”

From the beginning of April, the BID will operate under a different format, as the Skipton Town Partnership. It will be run by a board of 11 directors, including the chairman, and have four ex-officio directors – from Skipton Town Council, Skipton Building Society, Craven College, and Craven District Council.

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