An exciting move to give businesses a voice and attract more people to the East Lindsey coast has been welcomed.
East Lindsey District Council today agreed funding for a Destination Business Improvement District to be established.
A similar project in Lincoln has seen more festivals and outdoor events, as well as deals on parking which can give a huge boost to the local economy.
It also could mean the East Lindsey coast could see marketing campaigns run on the same level as ones in Yarmouth and Bournemouth, who have already taken this step and have had 10 times as much to spend on promoting their area.
Portfolio Holder for Coastal Economy at East Lindsey District Council, Coun Steve Kirk, said: “This is an exciting, long term project for the coast that could be a huge benefit to all of us. It’s not about providing services that the council do as part of its statutory duty, it’s about providing the extra things that could make the coast a better place to work, visit or run a business.
“I cannot stress enough this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and by working together we can help enhance the coast even more.”
I believe it is important that local businesses have a major input into how the coastal strip developsChris Baron, chairman of Visit East Lincolnshire
The Destination BID process, which will be supported by Visit East Lincolnshire and led by the business community itself, would, if successful following a vote, give all contributing businesses in the agreed Destination BID area an equal say on how the money is spent to enhance and strengthen the visitor economy and those business with a direct or indirect link to it.
Chris Baron, chairman of Visit East Lincolnshire and resort director at Butlins, said; “I am really pleased that thanks to East Lindsey District Council’s support we can now move this project forward as I believe it is vital to the future of the visitor economy. If we wish to remain competitive we need to be able to fund marketing campaigns for example to the same level as other seaside towns such as Yarmouth and Bournemouth who have already taken this step. Because of this, they are able to spend up to 10 times what we currently have available thanks to their BID’s. I believe it is important that local businesses have a major input into how the coastal strip develops through events, marketing and other projects and this is the right vehicle to do this.”
Destination BID, which eventually has to be approved by the business community through a vote, sets aside a pot of money that would be generated through a small increase in Business Rates – usually around one per cent or two per cent. The money is then used to deliver an agreed Business Plan, which sets out a series of actions that aim to improve an area – such as investment in street scene, marketing, events, activities and other identified priorities.
The process, which will be overseen by a Board from the business community, will need to determine the geographical area the Destination BID will cover in due course.
East Lindsey District Council has given its support to the initiative with a funding contribution of £45,000 and funding for an employee to work on the Destination BID programme. The decision comes following a feasibility study funded by the District Council, Visit East Lincolnshire and the Skegness Town Partnership, which looked into the potential of a Destination BID.