Town’s bid for better business fortunes

Sue Byers, Brendan Hughes and chamber manager Vicky Lofthouse
Sue Byers, Brendan Hughes and chamber manager Vicky Lofthouse

A chairman and vice-chairman have been appointed to lead a steering group to promote a Business Improvement District (BID) for Morecambe.

The steering group elected local businessman Brendan Hughes as chairman and Arndale Centre manager Sue Byers as vice chairman.

Collectively the group will act as ambassadors to actively promote the BID to other business owners and managers operating in central Morecambe.

A successful majority ballot amongst business ratepayers could lead to raising revenue of at least £140,000 a year to spend on initiatives to improve and promote business in the town. The group includes representatives from national multiples, independent retailers, the commercial and licensed sectors, leisure and tourism, charity sector and the local authority.

The project is being managed and co-ordinated by Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the business community, supported by funding from Lancaster City Council which has allocated £40,000 to the chamber to lead on BID development for Morecambe.

Mr Hughes, managing director and owner of ICU Security Services based in Pedder Street said: “Creating a BID in Morecambe could be very beneficial to all businesses in the proposed district. It gives rate payers the chance to decide how their contribution is being spent and gives us the opportunity to invest in projects that will improve the fortunes of the businesses in the area. I firmly believe this is going to be a turning point for the town’s economy and is proven to help other towns and cities.” A vote at a formal election is expected in spring 2016.