Queensferry ambition encourages town to vote yes and boost local business

Businesses in Queensferry will decide on June 22 whether they want to sign up for an initiative which will help boost local businesses and lead to a further half a million pounds of investment.

A large number of businesses in the town have registered their interest in becoming the Queensferry Business Improvement District (BID):

Malcolm Brown, Scotmid Cooperative, said: "Scotmid fully supports the BID. Our store in Alloa is already reaping the benefits of the BID there. It would be great to see Queensferry take advantage of this scheme too. We want to give back to our community and improve local businesses, and we know the BID is the best way to do that."

Ballot papers will be distributed from May 10 for members to register their vote on whether they want to move ahead with the initiative which will enable businesses to take vital steps to improve the prosperity of the town.

The results of the ballot will be announced on the 22nd June so the businesses have a 6 week voting period from 10th May - 21st June to decide.

The business case to vote for the BID is being launched tomorrow (April 26) at the Boat House restaurant, to which all businesses in the proposed BID area have been invited.

The Queensferry BID project is being led by Project Manager Diane Brown of Queensferry Ambition. She said: "The BID isn't about replacing local authority funded services, it's about delivering new projects. That's projects and services specifically chosen by businesses in the area to tackle the issues affecting the town but businesses only have one chance to say yes to this unique opportunity"

Over 100 one-to-one consultations with businesses have been carried out with 250 questionnaires issued to businesses for their views of the town, and to ask if in principal they would support a BID.

The City of Edinburgh Council has shown their support for the BID. Cllr Tom Buchanan, Convener of the Economic Development Committee, said: "The Queensferry BID is a great opportunity for businesses to collaborate and influence the future of the town. With the Council and the business community working together we can achieve what would be impossible to do alone."

Feedback was requested about the type of projects they would like the Queensferry BID to deliver and of the responses collected, the majority felt a BID was a positive way forward for Queensferry.

If local businesses vote yes to becoming a BID, Queensferry will be able to increase the profile of the town with a targeted marketing campaign, help businesses with staff recruitment and retention, increase footfall, consumer spend and create a more attractive and vibrant environment for businesses and employees.

A BID is a business led initiative which gives local organisations the power to raise funds locally to be spent locally, with the aim of improving their own trading environment. It is an investment scheme where local businesses have the opportunity to say how their money should be invested to benefit themselves, their employees, customers and clients.

There are currently eleven BIDs in Scotland and should the vote be successful, a new company will be set up to manage the projects proposed in the business plan and to ensure the £135k budget per annum delivers maximum return over the next five years.

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