The Business Improvement District (BID) for Lowestoft fired the starting gun earlier this week (27 March) to secure another five years in which to further boost the success of the town centre.
Since 2013 Lowestoft Vision, which is managed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, has been working with its levy-paying retail members and other partners to make the town centre more appealing, more attractive, more influential and more secure.
Over 40 levy-payers were joined by other businesses, public sector partners and Lowestoft Vision staff for a cheese and wine reception at Hoseasons’ headquarters.
They heard about the arrangements for Lowestoft Vision to renew its contract and carry on delivering its many great initiatives, including the part-funding of a town centre-based Police Community Support Officer, the town security radio scheme, the hanging basket displays and the many special events such as the 1940s weekend and various fun trails.
All businesses within the Lowestoft Vision BID area will be sent a ballot paper in the post from 23 April, with voting beginning on 27 April. This ballot closes on the 24 May and the outcome announced soon afterwards once the papers have been counted.
John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber, spoke at the event and focused on the 2.9% increase in footfall achieved in the BID since 2013.
“When this figure is compared to the general decline in high street business in that time and for the years before and after â€“ then a trend-bucking 2.9% is a massive proof point in favour of what Lowestoft Vision has achieved and an indication of what it will achieve over the next five years if our mandate is renewed.”
Matt Griggs, store manager of Coes in Bevan Street East added “our business here is one of the fastest growing branches in our company across East Anglia. Why?
“Because Lowestoft is slowly becoming a place where there is shopping, events and things to see and there is a purpose to visit. Lowestoft Vision has already set down the foundations of a town that is enjoyable to be in and a pleasure to visit.”
Lowestoft Vision chair, Danny Steel detailed the many initiatives that had contributed to this success and urged a “yes” vote to allow another five years of work to be undertaken.
“To allow Lowestoft Vision to deliver even more footfall-increasing schemes, we need simple majority of the votes cast. It is important to bear in mind that a “no” vote will mean that Lowestoft Vision will cease to exist as a company along with all the benefits of its various projects and services.”
Lowestoft Vision has produced a new business plan setting out its objectives should it successfully renew its mandate in May which will be circulated to BID levy-payers next month, and available on their website www.lowestoftvision.co.uk.