Council helps Barry Town Centre traders explore business improvement district possibility

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is helping Barry traders explore the possibility of making the town centre a Business Improvement District (BID).

Initial discussions into the opportunities and pitfalls such an arrangement might present were held earlier in the year after which local businesses decided to look at the proposal in more detail.

The Council then applied to Welsh Government for funding, which it is matching, to undertake an external report to analyse the issues facing the town centre and recommend whether a BID is appropriate.

The independent study will examine whether a BID could help address issues facing Holton Road and High Street shopping centres and also identify ways to combat shop vacancies and improve the location’s viability.

It will be undertaken by the Mosaic Partnership, a diverse consulting team who have developed practical solutions to improving and revitalising town centres in the UK and around the world.

The group has created a successful three-phased process to guide locations through BID feasibility, development and the construction of a campaign.

The Council also offers other support to town centre businesses, including a Commercial Grants Programme.

Cllr Jonathan Bird, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet member for Regeneration and Planning, said:

“In January the Vale of Glamorgan Council hosted a meeting for Barry traders to hear about the benefits and pitfalls of establishing a Business Improvement District.

“There was an opportunity to learn about how BIDs have worked elsewhere in the UK and the benefits that have arisen for the local businesses. Following that meeting, traders decided to further explore the possibility and so we have helped commission this study.

“As a Council, we are committed to supporting town centre businesses. This is the latest in a series of steps we have taken to promote these areas, with events, shop front and street refurbishments among the others.”

The Council will also be inviting local businesses and property owners to a town centre summit in November to help identify further ways to improve the area.

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Nathan Spackman

Nathan is the Operations Director at Bro Radio. You'll hear him reading local news, hosting at local events and presenting our facebook live videos.