Milngavie businesses vote in favour of a third BID term

Thursday, 1 February, 2024

Businesses in Milngavie have voted to work collectively – for a third time – in a BID to boost the town centre.View of Milngavie town centre

A ballot was held recently to decide whether to renew the Business Improvement District (BID) in Milngavie town centre, with the result declared on 1 February 2024 by East Dunbartonshire Council's Chief Executive, Ann Davie.

More than 88% of the votes cast were in favour of the proposals and work will now take place, supported by the Council, to ensure the Milngavie BID continues as an operational, not-for-profit, limited liability company.

The goal is to build on the achievements of the last 10 years in the town centre by continuing to provide a dedicated range of initiatives that will directly benefit local businesses and a programme of events to bring people into the precinct.

The Milngavie BID's aims include:

  • Further comprehensive marketing of Milngavie as a destination for more regular visitors
  • Continual promotion of the town centre as a destination for shopping, services and leisure through digital, print, Sky TV, radio and direct marketing
  • An enhanced digital presence for individual local businesses and the community
  • Ongoing improvement and imperative maintenance of the quality of the public realm, public spaces, shopfronts, signage and local environment
  • Reducing vacant units and breathing life into vacant units, creating business opportunities in an already vibrant town centre
  • Continuing to create an accessible and safe environment for users and businesses, maximising the asset of the pedestrian shopping precinct
  • Exploring efficiencies for business operating costs through training and resilience workshops
  • Continuing the BID team's superb record of tapping into external funding not available to individual businesses or other groups.

A well-established Milngavie BID website (external link opens in new window) hosts a range of valuable information, including a business directory of all levy payers, events calendar and jobs board, as well as 'things to do' and news sections.

The website regularly receives over 10,000 visitors a month with more than 100 vacancies filled via the jobs board in the current BID term, at no additional cost to the local businesses.

Milngavie BID's next challenge is to complete the current BID term that runs to 30 April 2024. The BID team are planning regular promotional campaigns around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day while also taking car bookings for the fantastic Classic Car Show, which will launch Milngavie Week in June.

Scotland’s improvement districts aim to deliver change, and boost businesses and local economies across the country. Business Improvement Districts are developed, managed and funded by businesses who are liable to pay Non-Domestic Rates in the defined BID area.

Ian Lavrie, Vice-Chair of the Milngavie BID and local business owner, said, "I have been involved in the Milngavie BID for the last 10 years, having contacted BIDs Scotland in 2012 to get things set up for Milngavie. I am absolutely delighted that businesses within our BID area have supported the plans for a third time – a clear demonstration that the BID approach does work as an investment vehicle for our towns.

"By getting involved in the Milngavie BID, we have demonstrated businesses can work together to increase footfall, stimulate investment, enhance the reputation of our town centre and provide a strong, unified voice."

Members of the Council's Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets (PNCA) Committee approved the BID Business Plan at a meeting in November. The Council will provide a voluntary contribution of £180,000 over the five-year term of the BID.

Councillor Paul Ferretti, Convener of PNCA, said, "I'm very pleased that the Milngavie BID has once again secured the support of so many local businesses – its third successful ballot result. Congratulations to all involved.

"The BID provides local traders, hospitality venues and services with a collective voice – helping to guide regeneration, investment and initiatives. Working together we can build on the huge amount that has been achieved over the last 10 years."

The results of the Milngavie BID ballot were:

  • Total number of valid votes cast in the ballot – 78
  • Total number of votes cast in favour of the proposed BID for Milngavie – 69 (88.46%)
  • Total number of votes cast against – 9 (11.54%)
  • Votes cast (156 eligible business properties) – 50%.

For more information, visit the Milngavie BID website (external link opens in new window) and the Council BID ballot results webpage (link opens in new window).

A BID is a geographically defined area where businesses come together and agree to invest collectively in projects and services they believe will improve their trading environment.
BID projects are new and additional projects and services – they do not replace services already provided by the Council and other statutory bodies.

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