Curran Welcomes Move To Set Up Business Improvement Districts


Down District Councillor Dermot Curran has welcomed Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland’s announcement of a twelve week consultation into proposed new Business Improvement Districts (BID).

The Business Improvement Districts (NI) Act 2013 empowers interested traders and business owners in towns, cities and even rural area across Northern Ireland to get together with their local council to look at improvements their area may need. If they arrive at a plan and cost it, a levy is then determined which would fund the plan over a five year period by each business involved in the BID.

[caption id="attachment_40112" align="alignleft" width="350"]Councillor Dermot Curran has welcomed the DSD Minister's initiative to improve business life in our local communities. Councillor Dermot Curran has welcomed the DSD Minister’s initiative to improve business life in our local communities.[/caption]

The consultation will run from Monday 17 June -Friday 6 September 2013.

Announcing the consultation Minister McCausland said: “Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) will provide a valuable economic boost to local retailers across our provincial towns, many of whom are struggling to keep afloat in these tough times. The introduction of BIDs offers a unique opportunity to local traders to come together to improve trading conditions in their local areas to benefit all.

“The new districts will also be a very innovative concept, allowing businesses to help themselves and create local trading solutions to local issues in their areas.

“I would like to encourage anyone who is interested to submit their views to my Department by the consultation closing date, which is Friday 6 September. I look forward to seeing this important piece of legislation move forward in the months ahead.”

Cllr Curran said: “I certainly welcome this consultation and the sooner we get this programme moving the better for local businesses. This needs to be rolled out across our whole council district. It has been a long difficult spell for most businesses in our district and the way forward is working in partnreship with with government, the Council and the business community.

“I will be bringing this to the attention of Council and will listen to any suggestions that our business community have to move things forward. Local rural and urban business communities can develop their own local strategies with support from government and Council and in this was initiatives are likely to succeed in supporting our beleaguerred business community.

“Businesses can work through existing bodies or even set up their own ad hoc organisations to address local business needs. This initiative can support local networks and has to be supported.

“I am interested in supporting the setting up of a business group in my own community of Ardglass to address local trading and business issues. Together we can maybe improve the business environment for everyone. If anyone has any thoughts on this they are welcome to get in touch with me.”