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

Adam Joy and Maggie Frith and (inset) John Challis, Coolio and Chesney Hawkes on the video.

Actor from Barnstaple spent seven months enlisting the help of various celebrities to help with proposal.

Read more
The derelict Brunswick Wharf site in Bideford. Picture: Sarah Howells

The prime waterside development site in Bideford is set to go back up for tender as council confirms it has terminated contract with developer.

Read more
08:30
A masterplan is being drawn up for Severn Brethren in Barnstaple. Picture: Austin Wallas

Draft report suggests new cinema could form part of leisure-led Barnstaple riverside development

Read more
Rachel Raper, from Intagr8 in Bideford. Picture: Sarah Howells

As part of our Let’s Talk About It campaign, Bideford’s Intagr8 says more should be done within communities to tackle mental health.

Read more
12:27
Pilton Park in Barnstaple was under water this morning (Friday). Pic by Brian Saunders

North Devon Council’s executive committee will discuss the flood defence plan on Monday.

Read more
The future of Bridge Buildings in Bideford is 'work in progress', according to TDC's leader.

District council agrees it with dispose of the Bridge Buildings site after all its staff has vacated next year.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00
Developers say they are closer to finding a solution for Barnstaple’s historic Oliver Buildings. Picture: Andy Keeble

More details emerge about ideas for Oliver Buildings as Historic England amends listing and developers reject 100k bid to buy historic Barnstaple buildings

Read more
Yesterday, 12:02

Police appeal for witnesses after collision on Friday at the A361 Bolham roundabout near Tiverton.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:42
Jack Johns has been taking the 22 press up challenge to new heights - literally!

Ex-forces personal trainer Jack Johns, 47, is scaling buildings, lampposts and even diggers to carry out press up challenge.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:14

The independent secondary school has announced it will close next year due to mounting costs.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

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