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Traders' vote unlocks extra £1.5m funding

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 20, 2012

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A further £1.5 million of funding has been clinched to continue a scheme to help improve Truro city centre and increase footfall for businesses.

Truro Business Improvement District (BID) will remain in place for another five years after a majority of businesses voted in favour of maintaining the status quo.

Of 252 traders who took part in the vote, 165 were in favour of keeping the BID, thus unlocking the £1.5 million to be spent over the next five years.

The aim of a BID is to support businesses to raise funds locally to be spent locally on improving their trading environment.

The second BID comes into effect on October 1 and will pay to make the city attractive and accessible, events and marketing.

Neil Scott, manager at Totally Truro, which runs the BID, said the vote marked an "important and exciting new chapter" for Truro.

He said: "The ongoing success of the BID programme will rely on all businesses working together, sharing their expertise and enthusiasm to maintain and together, sharing their expertise and enthusiasm to maintain and develop Truro's status as the top retail, leisure and employment centre in Cornwall."

BID funds are paid for with a 1% levy on businesses with a rateable value of £10,000 or more and additional contributions.

Funds are poured into a ring-fenced pot under the control of the private sector and managed by Totally Truro.

Tony Welford, chairman of Totally Truro, said: "This is a superb achievement and we are delighted that the BID has been successfully renewed. I'd like to thank all the businesses and other organisations who voted to continue the Truro BID for a second term, particularly in these challenging recessionary times."

Cornwall Council have helped the team navigate their way through tricky Government legislation. Chris Ridgers, the council's portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, welcomed the cash injection.

He said: "This is very good news for Truro and shows the difference that BIDs can make in improving town centres.

"The recent report from Mary Portas into the state of our high streets clearly showed the challenges facing local businesses.

"The council has already introduced a number of proposals to support town centres in Cornwall, including supporting professional town centre management and setting up BIDs in key towns and this announcement shows the benefits of this approach.

"The success of the Truro BID is the result of the hard work and commitment of a wide range of partners who have supported Truro BID manager Neil Scott."

Cornwall has four established BIDs – in Truro, Falmouth, Newquay and Camborne – with a fifth being developed for St Austell.

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