Businesses have voted yes and given their resolute backing to making the town centre a Business Improvement District (BID).
The Stockport BID will unlock almost £2.5m of additional funding over a five-year-period to be spent on improving the town centre and encouraging more people to visit it.
A total of 193 businesses took part in the ballot. Of those votes, 125 were in favour, representing 64.7% majority by number.
Stockport Town Centre BID becomes the 252nd BID to be approved in the UK.
Jean Walker, Chair of Vision Stockport who initiated a BID in Stockport, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Stockport is now a BID area. The team at Vision Stockport have worked hard over the past 18 months to bring this about with support from Stockport Council. It is excellent to see that so many town centre businesses share our vision for a vibrant and exciting future for Stockport.
“Our first priority for the Stockport Town Centre BID is to establish an initial interim Board of Directors to start overseeing the delivery of the BID programme, ensure that funds are invested responsibly in areas that will make the maximum impact and work towards a special general meeting (SGM) to create a board that will take things forward.”
Councillor Kate Butler, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Economy and Regeneration, said: “It’s fantastic that our town centre businesses have voted in favour of a BID. This scheme will really complement all the regeneration work that the Council is doing around town as part of our Investing in Stockport programme. We will continue to work with our local business community to make Stockport an even better place to live, work and visit.”
From 1st April 2017, £480,000 will be available to spend on projects during the next 12 months that the businesses themselves have indicated as priorities, bringing vitality and viability to the centre.
Now that the town’s businesses have shown their support for the scheme it is hoped that further funding can be secured through additional contributions. Businesses on the outskirts of the town, or indeed those within the town under the £10,000 threshold, who will benefit from a more vibrant, successful town centre are invited to contribute £100 to enable more to be achieved.
One of the next steps for the Stockport Town Centre BID is to establish an initial interim Board of Directors to start overseeing the delivery of the BID programme, ensure that funds are invested responsibly in areas that will make the maximum impact and work towards a special general meeting (SGM) to create a board that will take things forward.