10 partnerships will share over £260,000 of Welsh Government funding to explore establishing Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), to boost the local economy and to support regeneration efforts.
Once the BID is agreed via a legal ballot, each business contributes financially via a levy, which is then used to fund the agreed activities set out in their business plan. These could include marketing, promotion and events, car parking, tackling anti-social behaviour, improving access to towns, or work to make the area more vibrant and viable.
The towns receiving funding as part of the current programme are:
- Port Talbot
Funding is also being provided to Newport for an ICT and digital-focused BID and to Ebbw Vale for a BID focused on industry linked to the Enterprise Zone. Sector BIDs across the UK are increasing in number, and Welsh Government is keen to ensure they are encouraged in Wales.
Rebecca Evans said:
“We are seeing BIDs make a real difference to town centres across Wales, but setting them up takes time, effort and support, which is why we provide Welsh Government funding to get them off the ground.
“We are committed to creating lasting economic change in the South Wales Valleys through our Valleys Taskforce, and I hope the BID proposals in Aberdare, Treorchy, Port Talbot and Ebbw Vale, will play a significant role in this.
“BIDs can help to revitalise our town centres and promote regeneration. We have seen existing BIDs delivering increased street cleaning initiatives, tackling antisocial behaviour, reducing crime, offering bespoke business training courses and hosting numerous events and festivals.”
Economy Secretary Ken Skates said:
“Collectively, the 8 BIDs created in the last programme have generated over £5 million private investment to support their chosen activities. This is a significant return on our investment, helping drive local economic development and supporting our Welsh high streets.
“I am particularly pleased to see 2 innovative proposals come forward. The proposal from Ebbw Vale aligns with the broader work of the Enterprise Zone in that area and complements other initiatives, including the £100 million Tech Valleys Initiative.
“In Newport I am keen to see how a BID focused on the ICT and digital sectors can help support our more regionally focused approach to economic development.”