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Published: December 17, 2021 | Updated: December 18, 2021

Businesses urged to get involved as feasibility study looks at establishing a BID in Gillingham

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Could a BID be on the cards for Gillingham?

Businesses in the North Dorset town are being asked to take part in a consultation for a feasibility study on establishing a BID, or Business Improvement District.

A BID is a business-led, business-funded organisation that supports business in a defined area.

There are currently eight BIDs in Dorset and more than 300 across the UK.

A BID is funded by a compulsory levy on businesses within a defined area.

The funding is used collectively to deliver a range of activities to support businesses in the area.

The feasibility study focuses on three areas:

  • Are businesses in Gillingham interested in developing a BID?
  • What, broadly, would businesses want the BID to deliver?
  • Would the possible levy be sufficient to deliver at least some of this?

The study also begins to take a look at the possible boundaries of the district.

Tammy Sleet, pictured left, who is carrying out the feasibility study on behalf of the Gillingham Town Team, is keen for businesses to get involved.

She said: “The feasibility study is the first opportunity for businesses to let us know how they feel the town centre is performing and what they’d like to see happen to support them.”

Businesses can take part via a survey here: https://tinyurl.com/GillBID.

The survey should take around 15 minutes.

Tammy said the more businesses that take part now, the better.

“We really need businesses to do the survey so that we can assess the challenges that are there and if a BID is the right way to support businesses,” she added.

The feasibility study should be concluded in Spring 2022.

If it concludes that a BID is feasible, the steering group, made up of Gillingham business owners and managers, will decide if they’d like to go to the next phase.

That would be the development of a BID business plan.

Businesses would then vote on whether to establish the BID.

The current BIDs in Dorset are Bournemouth Coastal, Bournemouth Town Centre, Christchurch, Dorchester, Ferndown and Uddens, Poole, Weymouth and Wimborne.