Thursday, 5 June 2014

Greater Yarmouth businesses say ’Yes’ to a Tourism Business Improvement District (BID)

Great Yarmouth Summer Fireworks
Businesses and organisations in Greater Yarmouth have made their voices heard by voting in favour of taking more control over their future and setting up a Business Improvement District (BID). As the first Tourism BID in East Anglia, one of very few nationally and the largest area in the country covered by a BID, it will lead the way in making sure that the Greater Yarmouth area has bigger events, is better marketed, more effectively managed, attracts greater tourism investment and offers a higher level of customer service and satisfaction.

Ballot results released by the independent scrutineer, Electoral Reform Services, showed that 70% of all those who voted are in favour of the BID progressing. For the BID to be successful, a second trigger, ‘majority by rateable value,’ was also required and this was achieved with 90% of those who voted.

It is anticipated that the BID will start in Autumn 2014 for a five year term, financed through a  BID levy, the proceeds of which will be invested in the additional projects that businesses have identified and that are set out in the Business Plan.

Over the five years of the BID, more than £2m will be generated to be spent in the BID area.  The BID anticipates working with all elements of the tourism industry, including partners from the holiday park sector who are major contributors as well as supporting projects in Hemsby & Gorleston-on-Sea and working with any other groups that wish to further the growth of the tourism economy and jobs.

Members of the Greater Yarmouth BID Task Group celebrate success
David Marsh, Chair of the BID Task Group said: 'This positive decision by businesses throughout the borough is the cornerstone to securing the future of our successful and vibrant tourism industry.   After a generation of relying upon a minority of businesses to put their hands in their pockets to promote projects run by the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority, this new initiative means that all those that benefit from the £535M per annum tourism industry in the borough of Great Yarmouth have the opportunity to help shape its future with a sustainable funding package.

“After several years of hard work, this is a great result for all involved and allows Greater Yarmouth to keep on improving and keeping pace with the competition. I would like to thank all those involved from businesses who formed the task group and gave their time and support freely, to the Local Authority who have taken an active and collaborative approach to the BID. Special mention must go to our Tourism team headed up by Alan Carr, and our hard working project manager Karen Youngs. We are also very grateful for the support and encouragement of Mo Aswat of The Mosaic Partnership, without whom we could never have reached nor attained our vision."

“Together, support from businesses will make a real difference to the resort’s future. The hard work begins now in delivering the new initiatives and the team aim to get started immediately with a view to formally launching in September.”