North Herts Council has commissioned consultants Heartflood to conduct a survey into the issues facing businesses in the Wilbury Way and Burymead industrial areas in Hitchin, as part of its Economic Development Strategy refresh.
The survey will include questions on the potential creation of a Business-led body such as a Business Improvement District (BID) or a Trade Association to lead the drive for improvements. In the consultation, all businesses in the Wilbury and Burymead Industrial areas are being invited to take part in a survey to find out more about the businesses, the issues and assess their views on whether to create a new organisation aimed at improving the business environment and business performance in the area.
Businesses will be asked about their company, their priorities for improvement in the industrial areas, whether or not a BID or other body would provide solutions, and whether they would support the introduction of a BID to deliver such activities. This would require them to pay a small additional sum on their annual business rates.
A BID is a business-led and business funded body, which is formed to deliver a range of improvements identified by those within a defined area. There are over 300 BIDs across the UK and approximately 20 of these cover industrial areas.
Cllr Keith Hoskins, Executive Member for Enterprise and Arts, said: “We need to establish the willingness for such a project at every step of the way. We are therefore initially urging as many businesses as possible to spare just 2-3 minutes to tell us what they think via the survey.”
Chris Gregory from Heartflood added: “It is critically important that we gain the views of as many local businesses as possible to allow us to ensure that their views are at the heart of the recommendations we provide to the council.”
Following the consultation, Heartflood will make a number of assessments and recommendations based on the feedback received and with their specialist knowledge of BIDs. The results of the research will then be shared with survey respondents.
Please take part in the survey by 7 April 2023.
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