Earlier we reported on efforts by the city centre manager, Andrew Cooper, to get a Business Improvement District established in our city centre. We now learn that detailed proposals will go to council leaders and business owners in the next few weeks. If voted through and fully subscribed these proposals would include a permanent team of five focussing on the cleanliness and management of city centre streets, an award scheme for businesses reaching exemplary standards in the management of their premises and their surroundings, an organisation which would help to manage the night time economy, a marketing drive which would include festivals and cultural events and improving access to the city centre.

Yes, this is a business-led initiative and it will be important to ensure that residents’ interests are not overlooked and that the BID creates real additional resources, not just more lobbyists, but TARA believes, on balance, that the Bath BID represents a real prospect of channelling the additional funding in the city centre to make real the many improvements in our surroundings we would like to see.

These are important proposals and we urge the council, Future Bath Plus and the city centre business community to get behind them. Anyone who would like to see what can be achieved should visit Northumberland Place where local businesses have already acted together to make a colourful and vibrant street out of what was becoming a grimy and unkempt backwater. Congratulations to the Northumberland Place community and to FBP’s Environment Panel chaired by Graham Webb of St Johns.

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