Welwyn Garden City BID 'yes' campaign gets underway

PUBLISHED: 11:31 21 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:33 22 September 2016

The Howard Centre's Paul Haynes and board chairman and boss of John Lewis Welwyn Chris Hooper at the launch.

The Howard Centre's Paul Haynes and board chairman and boss of John Lewis Welwyn Chris Hooper at the launch.

Archant

The campaign to convince firms in WGC town centre to back proposals to become a Business Improvement District (BID) was launched last night.

Representatives from shops, charities, commercial operations, the borough council and the WGC BID development board attended the launch.

It was held at The Place to Eat in John Lewis.

An introduction explaining the benefits of the BID proposal was given by Chris Hooper, boss of John Lewis in WGC and chairman of the development board.

This was followed by a promotional video and Q&A session.

Guests were then free to mingle and ask questions of the many board members present including boss of the Howard Centre Paul Haynes, town centre manager Mariana Bitonte, councillor Bernard Sarson and WHT editor Terry Mitchinson.

At the launch prospectuses were also handed out.

Ballot papers will be sent out next week.

If approved additional money would be raised – about £1.5m over the five-year period of the BID plan – through a levy on town centre businesses, which would be invested in projects to “re-energise the area for businesses, employees, shoppers and visitors”.

The borough council, which is supporting the scheme, will oversee the BID ballot.

Forms have to be returned by 5pm on Thursday, October 27.

The result will be announced the following day.

Mr Hooper said: “I am confident a BID will help us achieve our ambitions, bringing local businesses together to work collectively to improve our town centre.”

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