South Queensferry rejects five more years of BID – by just four votes

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A critical vote to decide if South Queensferry’s Business Improvement District (BID) should continue has produced a No result.

Queensferry Ambition was launched in 2012 as a BID with ambitious plans for developing South Queensferry as a must-visit quality shopping and leisure destination.

And last month it published a development plan which aimed to cover the next five years.

But in the ballot on whether the deal should be renewed 58 businesses have voted against continuation, while just 54 voted “yes” - a narrow but decisive margin (on a turnout of 66.91 per cent).

Under the original deal businesses in South Queensferry and Dalmeny voted in favour of creating a BID, and to pay an annual contribution through the BID levy.

However as early as 2013 some firms were refusing to pay the levy, one bone of contention being that some were reportedly being charged 4.8 per cent of their rateable levy while other BIDs charged just 1.2 per cent.

With the brand name Queensferry Ambition the local BID helped fund projects, services and events aimed at improving the area for the benefit of businesses, employees and visitors.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Queensferry BID Board said on social media: “I would like to thank everyone for casting their votes.

“It is disappointing not to reach a successful outcome for the BID to continue for another five years but we were unable to secure the necessary support by such a small margin.

“The Board will reflect on the result as no doubt will the businesses and the community organisations.”

On Wednesday the Board had said a successful result would have led to “immense” opportunities to do many positive things for local firms and for Queensferry.