29th March 2021
Belfast City Centre businesses have voted to continue being part of their Business Improvement District (BID), Belfast One, until 2026 in a move that will give the city a £4.5m boost.
An independent re-ballot process was launched in February to ensure the BID, which started in 2016, could continue for a second five-year term.
Of the businesses which voted, 86% elected to remain being part of the BID. This totalled 95% by rateable value.
By securing the BID’s next term, these businesses have given Belfast One a mandate to deliver its five year business plan on their behalf. It sets out a plan for the City Centre to deliver a safe, clean and active space where businesses can flourish through driving footfall, increasing sustainability and offering cost saving initiatives while enhancing the attractiveness of the area.
The projects delivered between 2021 and 2026 will build on five years of successful local partnerships and high profile events to promote the City Centre, instigated by the BID team and directed by a voluntary board made up of local representatives.
Stephen Mewha, Chair of Belfast One Board of Directors, said: “We welcome this result, which has been achieved through the hard work of the BID team over the past five years, and are excited about supporting City Centre businesses to fulfil our long-term vision for a sustainable future.
“But Belfast One is forward-thinking and this has positioned us to be flexible, adaptive and responsive to new situations and new challenges.
“We look forward to working for our business community to develop positive experiences for all who visit the City Centre.”
Managing Director of Belfast One Kathleen McBride, said: “This is great news for Belfast and an important commitment from local businesses for their future. We want to thank our businesses for their continued support.
“During the consultation process our businesses told us what support they want to see after lockdown and this has shaped the recovery strategy within our business plan.
“We want to be a driving force in our businesses’ success and we believe that continuing the BID’s work is even more important now than ever.
“We are looking forward to working with them as we emerge from lockdown and open up the city after a very difficult year.
“Our partnerships with key organisations, including Belfast City Council, Belfast Chamber of Commerce and the PSNI, will be vital as we continue to improve the city centre and make it a more welcoming place for visitors and businesses to invest, work and relax.”