No Ambition? Businesses reject new BID term

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Business owners in South Queensferry have voted against a further five years with the town’s Business Improvement District (BID).

Queensferry Ambition had laid out wide-ranging plans for developing South Queensferry into a must-visit quality shopping and leisure destination, but lost the vote to renew the term marginally by 54 votes to 58 with a turnout of 67 per cent.

The bid was formed five years ago with businesses in the area agreeing to pay an annual contribution through a BID levy.

It aimed to fight the town’s corner attempting to address parking and signage issues, it staged events to attract visitors and tried to raise the profile of the town.

The Gazette contacted a number of businesses in the area but very few were available for comment.

However, the owner of the Ferry Tap said they were “glad” the BID had been voted out but refused to go into further detail.

Terry Airlie, Queensferry District and Community Council said: “It never quite worked the way we expected it to.

“There was a lot of ill feeling towards the way it was set up, it did not engage with all the businesses just the ones in the high street and tourist areas.

“I’m not overly surprised but disappointed as it is an opportunity lost.”

Jordan Hunter, Sous Chef at the Three Bridges, said the BID helped to bring in extra footfall from the cruise ships. He said: “It gave us more of a name. It would have been a great opportunity to have continued the BID.”

David Cameron, chairman of Queensferry Ambition, said: “We’re disappointed it was very close. I’m not sure what more we could have done.

“We networked and talked with businesses, we were experimental, we did different types of events – some were more successful than others.

“We were a very broad BID as there were retail businesses and community groups. It was disconnected in a way as there was no main focus compared to other BID’s. I think that was the problem.”