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Plans for a Business Improvement District in Lichfield will allow city centre traders to take control of their area, a new report has claimed.
Companies will vote on plans to generate more than £1million in funding to boost city centre trade.
The money – which will be raised by a levy on local businesses – could be used to fund things like free wi-fi across the city.
A report by Cllr Ian Pritchard to a meeting of the economic growth and development scrutiny committee tonight (June 16) has highlighted how the Business Improvement District (BID) could impact on the way the city centre is managed.
He said: “The BID has the potential to make Lichfield city centre more vibrant, increase footfall and customers, and deliver new projects and city services that businesses have chosen.
“Ultimately, a BID enables traders to take control of their own trading environment and to deliver business-led initiatives with a defined area.”
If the businesses vote for the project they will pay around 1.5% of their rateable value a year, with more than half of the city’s companies paying £250 per annum.
Larger traders, such as Tesco and Morrisons will pay £3,000 a year, while Lichfield District Council will pay a maximum of £10,000 each year.
However, the local authority will also be asked to approve an upfront loan of £156,800 to the BID project.
Cllr Pritchard explained: “This will be recouped over the first term of the BID.
“The payment is also relatively risk free as once a BID has been established, businesses are legally obliged to pay the levy.
“This form of upfront payment is commonplace in BID areas and enables them to deliver in year one.”