Bid to renew Lancaster BID to go before council

The Light Up Lancaster festival is one of the events to have benefitted from the BID.
The Light Up Lancaster festival is one of the events to have benefitted from the BID.
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City councillors have been asked to back an extension of a successful scheme to boost Lancaster businesses.

Lancaster City Council cabinet will meet on August 4 to decide whether to endorse a renewal of the Lancaster BID (Business Improvement District).

BIDs are based on the principle of charging an additional levy - typically 1% to 2% of rateable value - on business ratepayers in a defined area, to raise money to make improvements to that area.

The Lancaster BID was voted in by local businesses at the end of November 2012 and has been running since April 2013.

The initial period agreed was for three years to run until March 31 2016 and the renewal ballot is scheduled to be held in 
November 2015.

The new term proposed is five years, to run from April 1 2016 to March 31 2021 to generate £1.3m to spend on Lancaster, up from £620,000.

The BID area would be extended to include the majority of the city centre east of the inner ring road up to the canal bank, and the Castle and Priory.

Events to have benefited from the Lancaster BID include the annual Christmas lights switchon in the city centre and the Light Up Lancaster festival which includes the yearly fireworks spectacular.

Council officers have suggested that councillors should endorse the BID renewal. The meeting will be held on August 4 at 6pm at Lancaster Town Hall and is open to the public.