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Neath Port Talbot Set for £500,000 Funding Over the Next Five Years


Neath Business Improvement District

Neath Port Talbot Council will vote ‘Yes’ in the Neath Business Improvement District (BID) ballot which aims to generate an additional £500,000 funding for the town over the next five years.

A BID is a mechanism that has been recognised as being successful in bringing local businesses and other stakeholders together with the aim of improving their trading environment and enhancing their profitability.

There are over 200 BIDs in the UK and Wales currently has three; Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil and most recently, Newport. The Welsh Government is supporting the development of additional BIDs in Wales, as a key component of its commitment to encourage economic development and to deliver its new regeneration framework, Vibrant and Viable Places.

The Council successfully bid for funding of £25,000 from Welsh Government which has been used to appoint a consultant to work with the Local Authority and local business community to develop the BID concept, aims, vision and outline implementation strategy.

Around 250 businesses within the agreed area have received ballot papers and have just one week left to vote. Voting will close next Thursday 19th November and the result will be announced the following day.

Neath Port Talbot Council gets a vote as it pays business rates on its town centre premises.

Councillor Ali Thomas OBE, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council  says

“A BID in Neath town centre would help build on work already being undertaken to enhance the trading environment and further develop partnership working between the public, private and third sectors”

“Neath has a vibrant centre with a growing independent retail scene.  A BID would help sustain recent progress and provide significant enhancements in terms of the visitor experience, promotional activities and the active involvement of the business community.”

“The Council is committed to investing in our town centres and communities to promote economic growth, regeneration and sustainability”

“I would urge all businesses to ensure that they return their ballot papers before the deadline to have their say on the future of Neath Town Centre”

If a Yes vote is achieved, an independent, not-for-profit company known as Neath Inspired Ltd will be established from 1st April 2016. Businesses will pay 1.25 per cent levy on top of their standard business rate generating around £100,000 per annum for town centre improvements.

This will continue to be led by the private sector – by a board of directors who represent the businesses in Neath town centre and by theme groups also drawn from local businesses, who will meet to oversee specific projects in the programme.

The maximum period that a BID levy can be charged is for 5 years. Once the term is completed the BID will automatically cease. If the BID Company wants to continue its activities, it must hold a new ballot.

To view a copy of the BID proposal or for more information, log onto here

Business News Wales