Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Barnstaple traders asked to consider second Bid for town

12:00 10 June 2014

Barnstaple High Street.

Barnstaple High Street.

Archant

Shop keepers asked to complete straw poll on new five-year Business Improvement District.

Barnstaple High Street.Barnstaple High Street.

BUSINESSES are being asked whether they would be willing to continue contributing to a fund to promote Barnstaple town centre.

Only a handful of the 430 town centre businesses have so far responded to a straw poll issued by BID Barnstaple asking if they would back a second five-year Bid when the current one ends in March next year.

Traders currently pay one per cent of their rateable value into a fund to pay for extra marketing and promotion to attract shoppers.

Speaking to the Gazette on Wednesday, BID Barnstaple co-ordinator Sue Rawle said only nine from a possible 430 town centre businesses had responded to the straw poll.

“I am concerned for the town that they fully understand and consider the pros and cons and make a balanced opinion,” she said.

“If there is no Bid, there will still be support for traders but there will be no budget.

“Please let us know what you think by filling in the poll online or by handing in a completed form to our office on the Square.

“It is not legally binding in any way; this is all about feedback – would you like another Bid or not?”

Mrs Rawle said the bulk of the money spent in the current Bid had gone on marketing and events, and that figures showed an increase in visitors to the town, and a decrease in empty shops.

“I think it’s been a success without a doubt,” she said.

“It’s about the delivery of a whole raft of things that drive footfall into the town centre – what they do when they get here is up to the shop holders themselves.

“One thing we were not able to achieve for the town was a big electronic board, which unfortunately fell at the last hurdle.

“But we’ve delivered over and above on everything else and the footfall figures prove it. Statistically we are delivering on footfall and that is the whole aim of Bid in a nutshell.

“Even at the very worst, when we had the effects of the credit crunch, only 8.71 per cent of town centre shops were vacant, compared with the national average of 15 per cent.

“Now, vacancy rates are down and the High Street has been filled all bar two units.

“I am not saying that we got it all right; there is lots of room for improvement. But you always have to have a plan of action and if we work together we can achieve a lot, such as television and bus advertising.”

Traders can visit www.bidbarnstaple.co.uk to register their views, or alternatively, drop in a completed form at the Bid Barnstaple office on the Square.

Other News Stories

15:04
Scenes from Ilfracombe May Day 2016

Watch: The spirit of summer is released a day earlier than usual as Ilfracombe’s May Day celebrations enjoyed a good turn out

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Torrington May Fair 2015. Pictures: Sarah Howells

Torrington is getting ready for its Mayfair celebrations and carnival this coming week - everything you need to know here.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
Ben Blake, Craig Huxtable, Lewis Pillman, Hettie Cook and Karen Vasey-Szwer are among a group of eight Bideford College students hoping to travel to Ecuador. Picture: Submitted

Supermarket check-out bag pack among a series of stunts carried out to raise funds for ‘life-changing’ trip to Ecuador.

Read more
Fri, 18:15
Stowford Farm Meadows

Will Stowford Farm Meadows be crowned the king of sites in the Great British Park off?

Read more
Fri, 16:33
Dave Butt, pictured during the Pilton Festival, was a staunch community champion. Picture: Barbara Fryer Photography

Hundreds pack Barnstaple Parish Church to bid farewell to community champion

Read more
Fri, 15:59

Firefighters from Barnstaple were called after reports of a smell of smoke and a fire alarm sounding.

Read more
Fri, 13:42

South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is letting people behind the scenes ahead of one of their busiest weekends.

Read more
Fri, 11:24
Councillor Sue Hayward and town clerk Will Austin outside Barnstaple Guildhall

Barnstaple Town Council has big plans for the Guildhall, but the historic building needs a bit of sprucing up first.

Read more
Fri, 08:58
Chicken hen.

Hen evades rescue attempts but appears content in adopted A39 lay-by home

Read more
Thu, 18:06
North Devon District Hospital, Barnstaple

700-word response says there are ‘no red lines’ to reviewing services but ‘will not add to speculation’

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications