BUSINESSES in Ilkley have voted overwhelmingly to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) in the town.

A formal ballot of eligible businesses to determine support for an Ilkley Business Improvement District closed at 5pm yesterday.

The results have been announced today, with 81 per cent of businesses who voted in favour of the proposal. The rateable values of those who voted yes is also significantly greater than those who voted no.

This result supports the implementation of the Ilkley BID Business plan which has been led by a cross-section of Ilkley businesses, through the Ilkley BID Development Board. The result will be advised to the Secretary of State and the BID development board will make preparations to start on June 1. The levy is expected to raise over £130k per year to boost business in Ilkley.

The BID will run for a five year term with an expected end of term of May 31, 2024. A new independent limited company will be formed to run the BID with a board of directors to represent all sectors.

Ilkley joins other local towns and cities including Keighley, Bradford, Skipton, Otley, Halifax, Leeds, in planning for a competitive future.

Chairman of the Ilkley BID Development Board, Mark Heppinstall said: “The BID does now have the means to galvanise business in the town to work together for our general benefit. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped to put the proposal together and all those who have given the BID a fair hearing and support.”

Joanne Hyde, Strategic Director, Corporate Resources for Bradford Council said: “This is fantastic news for Ilkley which now becomes the third Business Improvement District within Bradford district. I’d like to congratulate all the businesses involved for making this another BID success. Ilkley already has lots to offer businesses, residents and visitors alike, but the success of the BID can now help ensure it goes from strength to strength. It’s fantastic news for businesses because it means that they can spend the money on what they know will improve Ilkley and make it an ever more attractive place to visit.”

Evidence from more than 300 other towns and cities elsewhere shows that BIDs can make a real difference. Further details can be found on the website.