Group BID-ding on Carnoustie’s future

Carnoustie High Street
Carnoustie High Street

A project developed by a steering group geared towards economic development and boosting businesses in Carnoustie has been given council approval.

Angus Council’s policy and resource committee approved Connecting Carnoustie’s Business Improvement District (BID) ballot proposal at a meeting on Tuesday.

BIDs are business-led partnerships which are created through a ballot process to deliver additional services to local businesses.

A BID is a defined area in which a levy is charged on all business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area.

Peter Burke, chairman of Connecting Carnoustie, which is made up of local business owners, said it was a “positive move forward” that the local authority was backing the BID.

He said: “The aim is to show businesses how they can improve their business, increase revenue and expand.

“It’s about the town and bringing more work into it, getting big companies to make investments and showing people that it is a good place to live.

“Businesses in the town identify areas they want to see improved, whether it be marketing or lighting or whatever.

“The steering group writes a marketing plan and then all the businesses involved in the town vote on what they want to support.”

Angus Council agreed to support the BID ballot proposal; to formally instruct that the BID ballot takes place and agrees to meet the cost of the ballot process but recoups the costs from the BID group once established and the frequency of collection of levy money has been agreed; that the council does not cast a vote in the ballot; and to note the estimated levy and other costs to the local authority of being part of the BID.

Businesses that are subject to the levy, as set out in the proposals, vote in a ballot. This determines whether the scheme goes ahead.

A successful vote is one that has a simple majority both in votes cast and in rateable value of votes cast.

Each business entitled to vote in a BID ballot is allowed one vote in respect of each property occupied or (if unoccupied) owned by them in the geographical area of the BID.

Once the BID is in operation the levy is charged on all businesses within the BID area (regardless of whether or how that business voted in the ballot).