The investment – which is seen as a ‘high priority’ for the council, comes as part of the their 15-year plan to develop the town, in a hope it will help to significantly increase footfall and promote business growth in the area.
The PTCP has announced the new BID ballot dates, where retailers and businesses will be given the opportunity to vote on whether the scheme is implemented or not.
583 local businesses are involved in the development of the proposed investment strategy and if the plan is approved, it will be implemented over the next five years. The plan includes a £500,000 investment in events and marketing, with hopes to also install free Wi-Fi across the town.
In addition there is also another proposed five-year investment of £550,000, which will be used to bring more shops to the area, to launch a loyalty scheme to encourage more spending in Poole and to highlight other areas in need of improvement.
Graham Richardson, the Tourism Manager for Poole Council believes the BID scheme offers a unique opportunity for local businesses to come together collectively to improve the look and feel of the town. He said:
“With local authorities going through deep austerity measures at the moment, it’s more important than ever that we come together to ensure the town keeps moving with the times.”
“Town centres and high streets are ever-changing places, and this BID scheme is going to ensure that Poole town centre is a place booming with business. It also will allow us to make sure the town is a safe and although statistics indicate that it is, perceptions don’t always follow that, so this will allow us to improve Poole’s image as well.”
Hamit Kircal, owner of a Poole Newsagents, backs the BID scheme but thinks the investment could be spent more effectively, he said:
“I think the installation of free Wi-Fi is a waste of money, because there’s quite a lot of empty shops – particularly on Dolphin Quay, and the money could be better spent there, as at the moment the town looks like a place in decline.”
“As a whole though I think the investment will encourage more businesses into the area and more visitors, which will be great news for all I’m sure.”
The BID plan will be available to all businesses and retailers by the beginning of March and for the plans to go ahead, at least 51% of the businesses involved must vote in favour of the scheme. The final vote is set to take place between March 31st and April 28th.
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To see the full report, click here
To learn more about the Council’s 15 year plan for Poole, click here