Plans to set up Business Improvement Districts in Halesowen and Stourbridge to help fund town centre improvements are moving forward, council leaders said today.
The BID scheme will see firms join forces to create a single company, with each member paying a levy. Members will then get to decide how the money is spent.
The cash could be used to fund special events, improve security or promote the towns and make them more attractive.
If supported, the full proposals will go before council cabinet members at a later date.
Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Business Improvement Districts are about empowering businesses across the borough to make improvements to their local area.
“We are working closely with the Chamber of Trade in Halesowen on its proposals to enhance the town’s In Bloom programme. They are currently working up a business plan which we hope to take to cabinet as soon as they are ready.
“Similarly, we understand businesses in Stourbridge are still considering how a BID scheme could improve the town and we await their feedback. The BID programme is very much business led and I am pleased to see firms working together for the benefit of this borough.”
It is estimated that a BID company in Halesowen could generate £51,668 with a one per cent levy and £103,337 if it is set at two per cent. In Stourbridge, it is estimated that a one per cent levy would bring in £91,000 and a two per cent one £182,000.
Money generated would be ring-fenced to be spent on projects agreed by businesses in the BID for the benefit of their area.
Meanwhile a BID will get under way in West Bromwich aimed at generating more than £1million of improvements next month.
Bosses say the extra funding will aim to fill empty shops, improve town centre cleaning and signage, stage more events and encourage more people to shop in the town.
Cash will be spent on a new marketing campaign and town centre website in an effort to boost the town centre’s fortunes. A total of £1.25 million will be generated from the creation of the scheme, which begins on July 1, with around 400 businesses paying up to £5,000 as part of the agreement.