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Calling Colne businesses – your town needs you!

Published: Wednesday, 6th September 2017

Colne is pushing forward with plans to become a Business Improvement District (BID) which means businesses could raise their own funds to strengthen the town’s economy.

All businesses and organisations across the town are now being urged to get involved and have their say on what their priorities are.

A survey has been hand delivered to give everyone an opportunity to shape the BID and highlight what kind of initiatives they’d like to see to boost activity and trading.

So far 60 questionnaires have been completed and it’s hoped many more will take this opportunity to have their say.

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council and economic development lead, said: “This is a really exciting business-led initiative for Colne.

“Colne is a thriving town and a BID would make the most of its potential, building on its strong customer loyalty and specialist shops and services.”

Chris Kolek of Kolek Consulting Limited has been appointed to co-ordinate a proposal which will be informed by responses to the survey.

He added: “Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey so far.

“There are more than 250 businesses and organisations in Colne and I hope those who haven’t yet had their say will take this opportunity.

“You can complete the paper survey or do it online - www.pendle.gov.uk/colnebidsurvey

The Colne BID is being led by a newly-formed steering group made up of business people, together with Colne Town Council and Pendle Council.

It first met at the end of July to establish a timetable for the development of the BID and kick-start the consultation.

Grahame Wharton, Chair of Colne Town Centre Forum and member of the steering group, said: “Creating a Business Improvement District could really help us boost the town but we need more businesses and organisations to be represented on the steering group.

“This will ensure that it can speak on behalf of a wider cross-section of the town’s business community.”

Members of the steering group currently include Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council; Councillor David Clegg (Pendle Council) and Councillor Sarah Cockburn-Price (Colne Town Council).

The business members are Grahame Wharton, Grahame’s Poultry; Ashley Sutcliffe, Live Like the Boy; Mark Bateman, The Book Shop; Matthew Eyre, Colne Tyre Centre and Phil Heyworth, JD Engineering.

If you’d like to join the steering group, contact Chris Kolek by emailing colneBID@mail.com or calling 07900 608 085.

Further information

There are more than 250 BIDs in towns and city centres across the UK, including several in towns of a similar size to Colne such as Skipton, Northallerton, Kendal and Otley.

A BID is a defined area which can provide additional or improved services.

This could include extra safety, cleaning or events. It is paid for by a levy on all eligible businesses after a successful ballot.

 What are the expected benefits of a BID?

  • Business leadership - led by local businesses for the benefit of businesses
  • New investment – creating a new fund that’s re-invested in the town
  • Action – the ring-fenced fund means business priorities can be addressed
  • Economies of scale – achieving more with less by working together
  • Adding value - BID activities are over and above those provided by the Councils and public bodies

Influence – the BID can be a voice for the town’s businesses and positively influence the decisions that affect them