So last week, I somehow managed to find the time to attend a meeting of the Northallerton Business Improvement District.
What I really liked about this was not only that local people were getting on with trying to sort this out themselves, but that they weren’t planning to be reliant on grants from the Council / Local Authority (which of course we all know can dry up at any minute!). They have a very brave approach, taking their idea to a public vote of all the local businesses, for an additional levy of 1.5% of their business rates. Clever really, if businesses are up for it then they vote to chip in and can also elect who is on the Board of Directors.
It is however all or nothing, so a majority vote means they are all in or all out…
That said, they hope to raise £150,000 a year and run for a sustainable 5 years – that’s enough time and cash to make some real progress… We will wait and see!
Couldn’t quite get out of anyone what the structure of the new organisation was going to be, but it sounds like a good candidate for a Community Interest Company to me.