'Everyone pays a little to gain a lot'

PUBLISHED: 18:30 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:54 11 May 2010

THE PROSPECTUS for the Royston First scheme, which would see the town become a Business Improvement District has now been finalised. It is being distributed to all companies in the town over the next week, along with ballot papers asking business owners w

THE PROSPECTUS for the Royston First scheme, which would see the town become a Business Improvement District has now been finalised.

It is being distributed to all companies in the town over the next week, along with ballot papers asking business owners whether they support the plans, which could see £900,000 invested in Royston over the next five years.

Geraint Burnell, Royston town centre manager, believes it is vital that businesses give the green light to a scheme which he says represents "good value for money".

He said: "With a Business Improvement District (BID), everyone pays a little to gain a lot.

"If successful, this BID project would benefit every part of Royston, from the industrial areas to the retail sector."

Mr Burnell added that some companies will be paying as little as £5 per week towards the cost of the BID, with the average bill working out at £404.

As reported in The Crow last week, the money would be raised by businesses paying an extra two per cent on top of their standard business rate.

The cash would be reinvested in projects such as a community cinema, extra policing, or a one-hour free parking scheme for the town centre.

Royston First already has the backing of the Royston Chamber of Commerce and North Herts District Council.

Voting will run until December 1, and if the plans are approved, the first projects could begin in April 2009.

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