It’s a YES

Skipton Levy Payers have said YES to renewing the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) for a third term.

The announcement of the result of the ballot of businesses in the town shows they have voted overwhelmingly to back the BID

The news means £800,000 of funding will be released to spend on projects and events to enhance Skipton and help it continue to thrive.

Bid manager Geraldine Thompson said: “This is a brilliant result for the BID, but more importantly, a brilliant result for Skipton.

“We can now continue with the work we have already done over the past ten years to ensure our town is one of the best to live, work, do business in, and visit.”

The Electoral Reform Service today published the result, which shows 82.6 per cent of those BID levy payers who took part in the ballot voted in favour of renewing the BID.

The businesses voting in favour represented 91.36 per cent of the total rateable value of those taking part.

Geraldine paid tribute to everyone who has helped with the successful YES vote campaign over the past few months.

“All the businesses, volunteer groups, organisations, and individuals who have given their support to us has been overwhelming,” she said.

“It has shown just how many different areas we have had an impact in during our first ten years. We’re now looking forward to connecting with even more people over the next five years.

“I’d also like to thank the Craven Herald for its tremendous support – the paper has really understood how important the BID is for everyone.”

She said with the help of the Herald, the BID had worked extremely hard to get across its message -and to make people fully aware of the work it has done since it was set up in 2009.

In that time, the BID has set up and runs the Visit Skipton website, operates the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership, restored CCTV cameras to the town, provides the majority of funding for Skipton In Bloom, helps businesses seeking grants, helps fund the Town Ambassadors, and operates the Best Bar None scheme for licensed premises.

It also provides funding for Skipton Christmas Lights and the switch-on ceremony, as well as many of the festivals and events that bring thousands of people into Skipton every year, including the Christmas Markets, the Waterway Festival, the Skipton International Puppet Festival and Sheep Day.

The £800,000 unlocked by the YES vote will go into three key areas – Visit Skipton, Business Support, and Attractive and Clean laid out in the BID business plan.

Work will now get underway to wind up the second BID and ensure all the admin is in place for the third term.

That will be followed by work beginning on ensuring the existing events and initiatives continue and are improved.

And there are brand new projects in the pipeline, including a business toolbox, which will be set up with a large degree of input from businesses themselves, and moves to team up with other partners to tackle the eyesores of the two railway bridges on the main roads into town.