Birminghamâs Lord Mayor has helped to unveil a âtreasuredâ document for the Jewellery Quarter â the Prospectus for the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQ BID).
The Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT), which is leading the BID in conjunction with Birmingham City Council, welcomed local business owners, stakeholders and council dignitaries to a launch event last week to mark the start of the ballot process.
The Lord Mayor was joined by Birmingham City Councilâs Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Randal Brew OBE and the Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Regeneration Councillor Timothy Huxtable.
The JQ BID aims to attract investment, increase visitor numbers and encourage a more vibrant economy, while making the area a better place in which to work, invest and live.
Around 550 local businesses are being asked to vote to support the initiative, which will see businesses with premises with a rateable value Â£10,000 or above pay an extra annual levy of 2% to fund additional investment for the benefit of the whole area.
Over the past six months the JQDT has hosted a series of consultation meetings and a drop-in day to enable business owners and potential levy payers to find out more about its exciting plans.
Dave Mahony, chair of the JQDT and managing director of PCPT Architects in Spencer Street, said: âWe were delighted that the Lord Mayor, members of the City Council and local business owners attended the launch event to show their support for the BID.
âIf ever an area was tailor-made for a BID it is the Jewellery Quarter with its unique blend of business and heritage, manufacturing, private investment and ownerships and its skilled, creative people who take great pride in the place. The JQDT is determined to succeed in getting a positive BID outcome for the area.â
Councillor Tim Huxtable said: âThere are currently nine BIDs in Birmingham and I have seen how BID status has helped businesses to improve their local environment for staff, residents and visitors. The City Council sees the Jewellery Quarter as very much a part of the city centre and wishes the JQDT the best of luck in achieving its aim of securing the Quarter as a Business Improvement District.â
Following the launch event, which was hosted by University College Birmingham, the Prospectus will now be distributed to all businesses in the Quarter with a rateable value of Â£10,000 or above.
The ballot â managed and organised by an independent organisation, the Electoral Reform Society â will take place over five weeks, starting on April 17.
The board of the JQDT decided in early-summer 2011 to support the BID proposal and develop the initiative in partnership with Birmingham City Council. Being a Community Interest Company, the JQDT is made up of key community and stakeholder organisations from within the Jewellery Quarter, including the Jewellery Quarter Association, the Jewellery Quarter Marketing Initiative, the Jewellery Quarter Trade Alliance and the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Forum.
The Trust Board agreed that a levy of 2% should be set on all properties with a rateable value of Â£10,000 and above and that the Jewellery Quarter BID area would be defined as the area bounded by the Jewellery Quarter side of Great Charles Street, Livery Street, Great Hampton Street, Key Hill Drive, Icknield Street, Sandpits/The Parade and Summer Row.
The BID would help to improve the Jewellery Quarter in many ways, including providing a welcoming environment for visitors, clean and safer streets, improving marketing to increase footfall and inward investment, and improving connectivity to the city centre.
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