20 June 2024

Yorkshire Coast BID to disband after businesses vote it down

The Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID) – which was established to promote, protect and support businesses along the region’s coast – is set to be disbanded after members voted against renewing its mandate for another five years.

In the most recent five-year vote, the BID garnered only 38 votes in favour out of the 227 cast.

Since its creation in 2018, the BID has faced criticism from local councillors and businesses for enforcing a compulsory levy for its work – but over the years it has given financial backing to numerous activities in its area of operation, which stretches from Staithes in North Yorkshire right down to Spurn Point.

Projects supported by the BID included the Puffins Galore! trail, Animated Objects’ The Odyssey – which brought large-scale sculptures, performances and parades to towns including Hornsea and Withernsea – and Light Night, which saw laser displays at key heritage locations including Withernsea and Spurn lighthouses.

Despite the vote, Clive Rowe-Evans, chairman of the BID, expressed pride in the board and the team for their achievements over the past five years.

He said: “The remarkable aspect of Business Improvement Districts is that businesses can create and disband them every five years, a testament to their truly business-led nature, and we thank every business that has voted in the recent ballot.

“Although the ballot outcome was unsuccessful, the board and the wider team are incredibly proud of what has been achieved over the last five years.

“The No campaign has fought diligently, and we hope that the same energy and passion will now be refocused on supporting the business community so that the area stays vibrant and well-promoted for future generations to enjoy.

“We still believe that the BID mechanism presents a fair and equitable way to raise funds to deliver activities that drive up footfall and spending. We wish the business community well in raising those vital funds to allow the many great events and initiatives that businesses, residents and visitors have enjoyed over the last five years.”

Following the vote, the BID will continue its current term until July 31, after which it will cease operations.