Council backs renewal of Royston First Business Improvement District


Councillors have given their backing to Royston’s Business Improvement District (BID) company ahead of a ballot which will decide whether it continues its work in the town.

Firms in the town will vote on whether to continue with the BID company, Royston First, next year. It was set up in 2009 to help promote and support businesses in the town. Companies in Royston fund the scheme through an extra tax added to business rates.

Royston’s Town Centre manager Geraint Burnell presented a draft business plan for Royston First, 2014-2019, to Royston Town Council at its meeting last week.

He told The Crow: “The actions proposed for a second BID term at this time fall into three main categories. Firstly there are continuation projects from the first BID term, such as the Free-After-3 parking, the Operation Artemis policing and support for town events, and the Royston Picture Palace community cinema.

“Secondly we propose to expand the scope of some of the current initiatives - in the main these relate to parking, retail, and marketing of the town.

“Finally there are entirely new initiatives which are largely focused on assisting businesses with skills, promoting businesses to each other and to the world outside the town, and in turn marketing the entire town. We have also recognised that the businesses want a more personal delivery of information to them from the BID company and we have proposed measures to achieve this.”

New measures introduced could include promoting town events on electronic information signs, which Hertfordshire County Council is seeking to install in Royston in the new year.

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Cllr F John Smith, leader of the council, said: “Royston First has been of immense value to the town. Royston is unique because it is the only place in the country where the industrial area and the commercial area form one joint BID, which is quite remarkable.”

Council members voted unanimously to back the renewal of the BID.

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