Businesses in Llanelli have given a strong vote of confidence in their town, voting overwhelmingly to continue the successful Ymlaen Llanelli Business Improvement District, known as the BID.
Ninety five per cent of businesses balloted said they wanted the BID, which has been in existence in Llanelli since 2015.
The BID focuses on improving the town centre through a collective effort, with business rate payers contributing to a £456,000 fund that will be used to promote the area, put on family-friendly events, push up footfall and make environmental enhancements over the next five-year term.
Chair of Ymlaen Llanelli, Lesley Richards, said: ““It has been a difficult time for us, and we could not have got through it without the help and support of those that believe in the work that we do for our town. This now gives us back the opportunity to thank them. We have a full agenda that will be unleashed as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The BID ballot was conducted by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The council has long supported the Llanelli BID, and said it was great news that it will continue.
Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “This is fantastic news and a very positive and encouraging sign as we look at recovering from Covid-19 and bringing vibrancy back to Llanelli Town Centre once more. The collective efforts of local businesses, led by the Ymlaen Llanelli team, have supported the town centre over the last five years with a variety of events that have brought thousands of people into town. We look forward to working with the BID team going forward to continue our focused efforts on breathing new life into Llanelli town centre.”
Business Improvement Districts are business led partnerships which are created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to local businesses.
They can be a powerful tool for directly involving local businesses in local activities and allow the business community and local authorities to work together to improve the local trading environment.
A Business Improvement District is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn MS, said: “Transforming towns across Wales and making them fit for the 21st century is a priority for the Welsh Government. BIDs can play a key part in regenerating areas by providing businesses with a collective single voice, supporting economic growth and strengthening communities. It is great to see businesses in Llanelli supporting Ymlaen Llanelli BID for a further term, as effective BIDs have a proven track record of driving local change and managing high streets and town centres.”
For more information about Ymlaen Llanelli, visit www.ymlaenllanelli.com
(Lead image Ymlaen Llanelli / twitter)