Meeting to be held in Scarborough for businesses concerned over the new BID

A meeting will be held in Scarborough tomorrow evening for businesses who are concerned or have questions regarding the new Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID).

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 2:49 pm
The first bills for the new BID's mandatory levy have been sent to business owners. PIC: Richard Ponter
The first bills for the new BID's mandatory levy have been sent to business owners. PIC: Richard Ponter

The BID aims to raise around £5m over five years to put back into the communities by way of creating new events, festivals, markets and also by making general improvements and updating infrastructure.

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The Yorkshire Coast Levy Payers Association, which was started by a group of businesses opposed to the BID, have invited anyone who wants to find out more to attend the meeting which takes place on Wednesday August 14 at 6.30pm at the Indoor Bowls Centre in Peasholm Road.

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The first bills for the mandatory levy went out on August 1, prompting this latest round of action. More than 1,300 businesses from Staithes to Spurn Point with a rateable value of more than £12,000 will face the new charge calculated at 1.5 per cent off their rateable value.

The first project under consideration was announced last Monday: the creation of a “Yorkshire Coastal Road Route” and brand which will provide a link and common theme for all businesses in the improvement district.

Hero Sumner, a member of the Yorkshire Coast Levy Payers Association, said: “Now that bills are landing for the BID across the coast our support group is being swamped with phone calls and emails from concerned businesses who are being told they’ll face court action if they refuse to pay the levy.

“Many businesses are refusing to pay, many others have no idea what the BID is about.

“Businesses from Bridlington and Scarborough are joining forces and spreading the word about the unwanted tax.

“There are meetings booked in both Whitby and Scarborough to strengthen the support network. Directors from the BID group have been invited, as have councillors.”

Last year, a ballot of businesses was passed by a margin of 217 in favour with 175 against, on a turnout of just above 29 per cent.