The importance of Skipton Business Improvement District (BID) and the work it does is fully recognised by local authorities in the town.
It works closely with both Skipton Town Council and Craven District Council and both organisations are fully behind the renewal campaign for a third five-year term for the BID.
The BID has invested £1.5m into the town over the last ten years, and a third term would unlock a further £800,000 pot for the next five years.
Both Skipton Town Council and Craven District Council are urging levy-paying businesses to vote YES in the ballot which is due to get underway shortly, with ballot papers due to go out next week.
Chris Clark, leader of Skipton Town Council, said the BID had the full support of the authority.
“Having worked in close partnership with the BID over the last ten years, the council knows first hand the positive impact it continues to make on the economic wellbeing of our town,” he said.
“BID funding, in conjunction with the town council’s own contributions and resources, has enabled the development of a range of initiatives and improvements which have helped weather difficult times better than most.
“The Christmas Lights Switch On last month is a fantastic example of what we can do in partnership with the BID. And we have to be clear, an event on that scale could not happen without the BID’s support.
“Other events would also be affected, such as Sheep Day, the Christmas Markets, and the Waterway Festival.”
He said BID support had made a number of very important projects possible over the last ten years.
“Without the BID, we would not have CCTV cameras back on the streets of Skipton, or the work it has done to make the town feel safe with the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership. Skipton In Bloom would not have had the funding it needs to keep our streets looking so attractive,” said Cllr Clark.
“We would have far fewer visitors without the work the BID does with the Visit Skipton brand. And it has also provided funding for the Town Ambassadors scheme.
“There is nowhere else the money will come from to keep these initiatives going in their current form. We need the BID to ensure all this is allowed to continue.
“It is vital that Skipton BID is renewed. It has a huge part to play in the continued success of the town.”
Craven District Council is also fully behind the BID, with the authority’s senior leadership giving its backing to a YES vote.
The council’s leader, Councillor Richard Foster, said: “Craven District Council’s Policy Committee has agreed to support the Skipton BID renewal proposals.
“We believe the BID is of benefit to Skipton and this has a knock-on effect on the rest of the district too.
“Business Improvement Districts are increasingly seen as an essential tool for towns to compete in today’s economy.
“A successful BID vote would contribute to achieving the council’s priorities of Enterprising Craven and Resilient Communities – helping to stimulate business growth, improve the economic vitality of the district, enable active communities and improve residents’ quality of life.
“We have worked with Skipton BID on a number of collaborative projects over the years and believe that we are stronger when we all pull together as a community.”
Skipton county councillor Andy Solloway is also fully behind the BID.
“I’m happy to give my support for a positive result for the Skipton BID,” he said.
“As the County Councillor for Skipton West Division which takes in the town centre, a continuation of this scheme will enable more exciting, real things to be done to further improve Skipton, benefiting residents, traders and visitors.
“The BID has gone from strength to strength from what I’ve heard; let’s keep this up.”
Skipton BID manager Geraldine Thompson said she was very grateful for the continued support and help given by the councils.
“We work very closely with the local authorities, and we will obviously continue to do so if we get a third term,” she said.
“This co-operative approach is a very successful one, and allows us to put on great events and to give the support we give to the schemes we operate.
“Without the BID, though, it is very unlikely, particularly given their current financial constraints, that the councils would be able to carry on with these events and projects in the same way.”