Businesses say ‘yes’ to huge investment

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MORE than £1m of investment is to be poured into Chichester to make it a more vibrant shopping centre.

Businesses have voted in favour of the cathedral city becoming a Business Improvement District (BID).

Following the example of other town centres across the country, it means traders can now prioritise and fund schemes to improve the area.

Business rate payers were balloted over the past month and 73 per cent voted in favour of becoming a BID.

It means that they will now pay one per cent of their rateable value towards the scheme.

The money will be spent on priorities identified by traders, such as attracting more visitors or making environmental improvements.

The scheme includes all businesses within the inner ring road, including Metro House, The Hornet, St Pancras and Southgate.

A total of £1.3m of investment is expected to be achieved over the next five years.

Andrew Finnamore, chairman of Chichester’s City Centre Partnership, said: ‘We are thrilled with the result and want to thank local businesses for voting “yes”.

‘This sends out a positive message that businesses in the city want to work in partnership to fund additional projects and initiatives, despite the current economic challenges.

‘We have seen how Business Improvement Districts have benefited other towns and cities across the country.’