Suzi’s at the helm of BID to improve Lancaster

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The woman charged with rolling out enhancements to benefit Lancaster’s business community has unveiled her top city centre priorities.

Suzi Bunting said she was looking forward to working with traders as she gets to grips with her new role as manager of Lancaster’s BID (Business Improvement District).

Her appointment comes after 67 per cent of city centre businesses voted in favour of the BID scheme, which will see firms with a rateable value of more than £10,000 pay a 1.5 per cent levy to be used towards marketing the area, filling empty shops and attracting more visitors.

It means an extra £684,000 will be invested in the city centre over the next three years.

Mrs Bunting said: “Lancaster is still a hidden gem to many and the opportunity to assist in increasing the footfall and overnight stays within the city centre will be some of my key priorities.

“In doing so, though the city centre has to sparkle and be revived, there are areas that need cleaning and improvements due to being run down or unattended.

“Many of Lancaster’s special alleyways, hidden squares and pathways are in need of clearer signage, while graffiti needs to be removed in some parts of the city centre.

“These will be among many activities considered for BID funding over the next three years.”

Mrs Bunting, who has a background in destination tourism marketing and business development management in Lancashire and Cumbria, will work with the BID management steering group to deliver a development plan over the next three years.

She will also liaise with private sector businesses, levy payers, Lancaster City Council and others to achieve the BID’s goals.

They will include major improvements to bring visitors to the district and a ‘bigger and brighter Christmas campaign’ with other seasonal marketing campaigns also in the pipeline. The team plans to work closely with the Lancaster Events Forum to ensure all activity is planned and co-ordinated, giving advanced notice for events and how businesses can get involved.

And already, business owners can apply for funding for projects they want to see to help boost the city.

It is hoped suggestions will complement plans already in place, such as Square Roots, the Castle and the Canal Corridor and ideas could include a marketing campaign, or requests for more litter bins.

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