Sunderland BID to be renewed for five years after winning vote
Sunderland's Business Improvement District has won a vote to secure its future.
City centre businesses were asked to take part in a ballot to decide on whether or not to renew the BID project for the next five years.
More than 51% of businesses took part, with 72.7% of votes cast supporting the BID.
BID bosses say the result will now help them continue their efforts to make the city centre a more attractive place both for visitors and those who work there.
Its plans for the next five years include a new food and drink festival, continuing the Christmas events programme and building on its Street Ranger scheme.
Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, said: "This is a great vote of confidence in the work that has already been done and we can build on those successes to help Sunderland city centre become the vibrant and prosperous place it deserves to be.
"Going forward it is about continuing to work in close partnership with leading organisations, the council and of course the levy payers so that we can turn the vision for the city into a reality.
"We’d also like to thank all the businesses who have given their support and who have put their confidence in us."
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It will also be bidding for a share of the High Street Fund, recently announced by the Chancellor.
Sharon added: "We can bid for up to Â£25m and the BID will be playing an important part in ensuring that Sunderland gets a share of this fund."
Chair of the BID board, Alan Patchett, said: "We are absolutely delighted the BID has won the support of the city centre businesses, who see its value and have given us the opportunity to work on their behalf going forward,” he said.
"I’d also like to thank the BID team for their hard work over the last five years. They have played an important part in us achieving this great outcome."
Coun Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "We’re delighted that city centre businesses have agreed to a second five year term for Sunderland Business Improvement District.
"The BID has played a key part in helping increase the vibrancy of Sunderland city centre in the last few years by introducing popular attractions like the twice yearly restaurant weeks, the Fanzone, Hadrian’s Tipi and the Christmas ice rink at Keel Square that help bring people into the heart of the city.
"Voting the BID in for another term will allow them to carry on this good work at the same time as trying some new things like the introduction of street rangers as well as continuing to give city centre businesses a voice."
The BID’s new term will begin in April 2019.