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A number of pub owners and managers in Lichfield have given their backing for plans to introduce a Business Improvement District in the city centre.
Companies are currently being balloted on the Lichfield BID, which would see businesses contribute to a funding pot expected to raise more than £1million over five years.
The money will then be spent on initiatives to improve trade in the city centre.
Paul Maddox,owner of The Scales, said: “Our evening economy is vital to the overall economic vibrancy of our city.
“Not only does it draw people in at night time, it shows off our city to potential daytime visitors too, with many people experiencing Lichfield for the first time at night, and coming back again another day to enjoy the shops and attractions on offer.
“Our pubs and restaurants also support hundreds of jobs, local suppliers and local businesses – from taxis firms through to security companies.”
Other publicans have also backed the proposal, which would see initiatives such as the introduction of safety accreditations and free NiteNet radios.
Leanne Giblin, from the Angel, said: “The BID is a brilliant idea. All businesses in Lichfield need to work more closely together to make our city an even more attractive place to visit and enjoy.
“Not only does the BID bring businesses together, it will see us all investing in joint projects that will boost our city and our local economy.”
The Lichfield BID proposals have been drawn up by representatives from across the city centre.
An early study suggested that more than 55% of businesses backed the idea.
Rob Hull from JD Wetherspoons, owners of the Gatehouse pub, added: “BIDs around the country are showing that they can deliver increased footfall and increased custom to businesses – which is what all businesses in Lichfield need – whether you are a pub, a shop or a visitor attraction.
“We’re looking forward to the difference the Lichfield BID will make to businesses like ours, whether that’s campaigning the council for a café culture, or working to deliver parking and marketing initiatives.”
Russell Tomlinson, from the George IV pub, added: “We all work so hard to promote our city, but it’s hard to do it alone. What we need is a way to join together on business issues that face us all, as well as to work together on joint projects, with a budget that can make a difference.
“Just imagine the difference we could make with £200,000 a year to invest – it’s a huge budget and will make a real difference to our city.”