Plans to launch a new Business Improvement District in Kidderminster town centre have been rejected.

72% of companies in the proposed BID area in Kidderminster, including the town centre and Crossley Park, which voted supported the proposal to set up the new business body but the proposal failed because it did not secure a majority as measured by rateable value. The ballot closed yesterday (Thursday 19 July).

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a precisely defined geographic area in which companies pay a small extra levy on their rates to fund additional services such as events and initiatives to boost footfall and foster growth. The proposal in Kidderminster was to pay an extra 1.5% of business rates, which representatives of local businesses would have decided how to spend.

The ballot system to decide whether a BID is launched comprises two elements. Out of a total number of 392 eligible businesses in Kidderminster, 95 votes (excluding rejected ballots) were cast. With 68 supporting votes, 72 per cent of businesses voted in favour of the BID.

The aggregated rateable value of businesses that voted was £8,419,975 but businesses with an aggregated rateable value of £4,058,525 voted in favour (48.2%).

For the BID to be implemented, more than 50 per cent of businesses had to vote in favour both by number and by aggregated rateable value. The figures suggest that some larger rate payers that voted did not support the proposals.

Councillor Ian Hardiman, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration said:

“We are very disappointed with the result of the ballot. The Council had facilitated and funded the resources for the businesses to develop the BID proposal and it is a matter of regret that not enough businesses have supported it.

“There are many examples of other areas where BIDs have been successful and they have provided a real boost to the growth and vitality of their towns and improved the involvement of the business community. It is a pity that not all Kidderminster businesses have bought into the same collective vision as businesses in other towns.

“Nevertheless a clear majority of businesses that voted recognised the benefits of a BID and no doubt there will be many businesses that are disappointed with this result and I hope that they will maintain the momentum that they have established and look at ways that a successful result could be achieved in the future.”