Southend town centre and seafront has voted an overwhelming ‘Yes’ to becoming a self-governing Business Improvement District (BID).
Turnout in the ballot was 49% with 92% of businesses by number voting in favour and 84% in favour by size. With businesses emphatically giving their backing to the scheme, it now means that they will have the power to choose where their money is invested to improve services, so attracting more customers to the town centre and the seafront.
A fund of up to £2.7 million will now be available across four areas of investment drawn directly from suggestions made by the business involved - Improving Town Safety, Winning New Customers, Raising Standards and Working for Businesses.
The money will be invested over the five year lifetime of the BID, starting from April 2013.
The Southend BID project has been led by the Town Centre Partnership.
Chairman Dawn Jeakings said: “This is absolutely fantastic news and will ensure that Southend can enjoy an even brighter future. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who participated in the ballot resulting in them voting ‘yes’ by a majority to our plans. I would also like to thank all people who have worked tirelessly to help make the BID become a reality.”