rory praises successful penrith ‘bid’ campaign

Rory has this week welcomed the almost unanimous vote by local businesses to set up a Business Improvement District (BID) in Penrith, praising all involved in the campaign for their hard work and commitment.

The BID proposal had been months in preparation prior to the voting period which took place over November. It involved the hard work of the Penrith Chamber of Trade, Eden District Council, and behind the scenes lobbying from the local MP to ensure the initiative’s success. With 81% of votes cast in favour of the proposal however, equating to 86% of the aggregate rateable value of Penrith businesses, the BID vote passed by a significant margin.

Following the successful vote, an elected BID management board will now be set up, with all businesses contributing to the BID levy eligible to stand. This board will be responsible for managing the BID and aims to make the control and delivery of improving Penrith town centre the responsibility of the local business community. With a projected budget of £500,000 over five years to invest in developing Penrith as a more attractive place for trade, it is hoped that the BID willhave real potential to stimulate the town’s economy.

Speaking on the vote, Rory said: “This vote in favour is fantastic news for Penrith – I genuinely believe that putting Penrith’s business owners back in control of local business initiatives will ultimately lead to a more competitive and commercially attractive town centre. I have always been in favour of more local democracy and this initiative could prove to be an excellent precursor to an elected Town Council and Mayor for Penrith – possibly the best way to give a single organised voice to our community.”

“I would like to congratulate everyone who put in such a tremendous amount effort to ensure the BID was a success – particularly Kelvin Dixon and Chris Kolek, who originally drew my attention to the project. The BID campaign was only ever going to be a success if it was what local businesses wanted, and so it’s great to see them decisively choosing to take control of Penrith’s future.”

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