Lancaster Music Festival benefits from BID funding

Lancaster Business Improvement District manager Suzi Bunting with Lancaster Music Festival co-ordinator Ben Ruth.
Lancaster Business Improvement District manager Suzi Bunting with Lancaster Music Festival co-ordinator Ben Ruth.

Lancaster Music Festival has become one of the first organisations to receive funds from the newly set up Business Improvement District (BID).

The festival, now in its fifth year, has secured £4,375 from the Lancaster BID Special Projects fund.

Businesses in Lancaster city centre voted in favour of creating a BID in November last year, resulting in a 1.5 per cent levy on the rateable value of their properties.

The money raised goes towards projects and investment that will improve the trading environment of the city centre, and make it more attractive to both visitors and Lancaster residents.

Suzi Bunting, Lancaster BID Manager for Lancaster Unlimited, the umbrella group set up to implement the BID said: “We are delighted to support the Lancaster Music Festival which is due to take place in 35 different venues within the city centre.

“Lancaster BID wish to support projects that create a city centre that is alive with culture, expression and vibrancy.

“A city centre where visitors, shoppers and residents are never quite sure what they will expect to see or hear.

“A city centre that’s buzzing animated and exciting and has a sense of pride in what it does and delivers – and this is exactly what the Lancaster Music Festival is going to deliver”.

Ben Ruth, Lancaster Music Festival coordinator, said: “Practically, Lancaster Music Festival 2013 can now pursue all its stated goals for this year, hosting over 200 performances at 35 locations (33 in the city and 2 at Lancaster University) and backed up with proper marketing regionally and nationally to put on the largest event in its five years of existence.

“For next year the BID funding could enable a considerable leap in the profile nationally of the music festival where certain projects that would benefit local businesses had hitherto been beyond budget but can now be applied for.”

There are over 130 BIDs operating throughout the UK, the vast majority of those in town and city centres.