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Business Plan to Support Strabane BID Project

07 March 2016

The Deputy Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council, Alderman Thomas Kerrigan is calling on businesses across the Strabane area to sign up to the Business Improvement District Plan saying it will bring real and lasting benefits for the town.

Speaking at the official launch of the BID Business Plan, the Deputy Mayor said BID was a unique opportunity for the local business community to take a proactive role in deciding the development and economic potential of Strabane.

He said: “Strabane’s BID is part of the town’s Business Plan and is the result of months of consultation between Strabane District Council and the Strabane business community to clearly outline what businesses in the town have prioritised in terms of the projects and initiatives they would like to see, should they decide to proceed with a Business Improvement District. Local businesses and traders are being met and spoken to about the scheme in an effort to encourage as many as possible to sign up to the scheme and reap the benefits for the long term future of the town.

“Derry City and Strabane District Council’s business team have been out and about visiting businesses across the town encouraging them to sign up to BID which will enhance the town’s business development opportunities and help create real economic growth before they go to a ballot on 22 April.”

Launching the Business Plan, the Deputy Mayor said it sets out what BID will do, how much it will cost to run and what area it covers and will ultimately improve trading and footfall in Strabane and enable independent action for tangible improvement projects selected by the traders.

Local businessman Liam Stewart of LGS Building Solutions and Chair of Strabane BID Task Group says he is confident businesses in Strabane will avail of the opportunity to be part of the scheme and will vote in favour in April.

“As a local businessman myself I am very much aware of the difficulties faced by small businesses. We are working in a difficult economic climate and with that in mind it is imperative that we look at innovative ways of  improving our offering and making ourselves more competitive and productive so we can create a vibrant and thriving town.

“I firmly believe that if we can secure a  ‘Yes’ vote the BID will provide real and lasting benefits for the Strabane business community. It will enable traders to work alongside one another with the support of the Council to self-manage and self-fund a series of improvement projects that will enhance the local area and benefit the community.”

Catherine Collins, Business Improvement District (BID) Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council explained that through BID, businesses in Strabane will be able to tackle specific local issues and work collectively to enhance business opportunities and attract more visitors and shoppers to our town. It will put businesses in the driving seat to make real positive change.

“If voted through, BID will be financed and led by the business community. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for local businesses to come together and invest in improvements for the benefit of Strabane town centre. BID members will be encouraged to work together, to share ideas and get support from one other to develop an enhanced business model for Strabane.”

She says that she is confident BID will bring the town to the fore as a thriving and vibrant destination for local people and visitors alike and also put Strabane in a positive position to actively promote the town as a great place to enjoy and do business in whilst improving trading and footfall in the town now and well into the future. 

Ballot papers are being distributed in mid-March with the postal ballot scheduled to close on Thursday, April 21. The vote will be counted and announced on 22nd April. Local businesses across the town are being encouraged to give BID their support and help make real change for Strabane. If the vote is carried by a simple majority (50% or more) of both the number of properties and the rateable value, a yes vote will be declared and the BID will become operational. In the event of a yes vote, all eligible businesses in the BID area must pay the levy, however they voted in the ballot and even if they choose not to vote.

Businesses looking for more information about BID are urged to contact Catherine Collins – [email protected] or [email protected]. More information on the project is also available at www.bidinstrabane.com.