City centre businesses vote to keep Sunderland BID for another five years
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Business across Sunderland city centre have voted to re-elect the Business Improvement District (BID) for a third term.
The BID scheme sees firms in the city centre pay a levy to fund work which boosts the area's economy by bringing in more shoppers and increasing spending.
Levy-payers voted in favour of the BID continuing its work from April 2024 for a further five years, which the BID team says confirm their recognition of the positive impact the organisation has made on the city.
The ballot count took place on November 30, with 86.8% voting in favour, with the 'combined ratable value' of businesses voting in favour equalling 91.7% of the city centre's economy under that measure.
Sunderland BID has so far invested more than £7million in the city centre and created various initiatives, such as Sunderland Restaurant Week and the Sunderland Gift Card.
Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said: “It is a fantastic outcome for everyone that the BID is going to be able to continue with its work for the next five years,” she said.
“We have so many exciting plans at a time when there is so much happening in the city and we will be able to have a real impact on that.
“We will be continuing with our plans to extend the BID boundary to take in the new Sheepfolds development and that will allow us to have a real joined up approach to everything that is taking place in Sunderland.
“We can’t wait to start on the next stage of our journey.”
Alan Patchett, chair of the BID Board, added: “I am delighted that the BID has been re-elected for a further five year term,” he said.
“It demonstrates very clearly the regard and confidence the city centre businesses have in the brilliant work the team has done over the years to improve the city centre and provide real and valuable support for all businesses.”
Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “There is so much regeneration happening in Sunderland at the moment, and businesses in the city centre are a huge part of that transformation.
“Sunderland BID provides a robust voice for the city’s businesses and community, and I am delighted to see them elected for a third term.
“We look forward to continuing our joint work to support businesses and make the city centre a safer and more vibrant place to live, work and visit.”