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Plans for a Business Improvement District in Lichfield have been boosted after the city’s cathedral vowed to double its contribution.
Companies in the city centre are currently voting on whether to approve the BID.
If successful, it will see businesses contribute to a fund expected to raise more than £1million over the next five years – money that will be reinvested into schemes designed to boost trade, including an improved Christmas festival and free city centre Wi-Fi.
Lichfield Cathedral has said it will put more into the pot, with the Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, saying: “The BID is a fantastic initiative.
“It’s all about businesses seizing control of their trading environment and working together to bring even more footfall into our city.
“As one of the biggest attractions in Lichfield, I know how important it is that we work closely with local shops and restaurants, so we can offer a compelling day-long experience for our visitors, and how important it is we work with local authorities, so we can improve the facilities on offer – from toilets to parking.
“The BID will give businesses a truly powerful voice that I believe will be able to deliver the changes we so desperately need to put Lichfield firmly on the map as a premier visitor destination.
“I urge all businesses to think big and support a joined up and supportive city by voting yes for the BID.”
A number of companies have already signalled their intention to back the BID.
Paul Maddox, owner of The Scales and Three Spires Coffee Shop, said: “Representing 500 local businesses, the BID will have enormous influence and lobbying powers.
“We’re hugely grateful for the cathedral’s support and we believe it is vital that attractions like the cathedral, our hotels, shops and cafes work together in the future to deliver positive and lasting change to our city.
“I believe the BID is the only way we can truly achieve this.”