BUSINESSES in Queensferry have just weeks to decide on whether they want to sign up for an initiative which will help boost their community.
Already a number of businesses in and around the town have registered an interest in becoming part of the Queensferry Business Improvement District (BID).
Ballot papers will be distributed from May 10 for members to register their vote on whether they want to move ahead with the initiative or not.
If they do, by becoming a BID, Queensferry will be able to source funding for any number of initiatives, including themed street events, a dedicated Queensferry visitor website, and funding support for local community groups
The Queensferry BID project is being led by Queensferry Ambition and Diane Brown, who was instrumental in securing Dunfermline as a BID.
She said this week: “With a positive ballot result in June, the businesses and City of Edinburgh Council, through the BID partnership, will be able to make real improvements to Queensferry and the businesses located here. It may be tough at the moment, but if the businesses vote to invest in their town, the future for Queensferry will be very positive.”
Over 100 one-to-one consultations with businesses have been carried out to date with 250 questionnaires issued to businesses to ascertain their views of the town, and to ask if in principal they would support a BID.
Feedback was requested about the type of projects they would like the Queensferry BID to deliver and of the responses collected, the majority felt a BID was a positive way forward for Queensferry.
Paul Steward of The Boat House restaurant is backing the BID and said: “We have all have been moaning for the last 10 years about the lack of parking and the constant traffic congestion.
‘‘Nothing is being done about it and the BID is the perfect vehicle to do something for ourselves. If we do not support this rare opportunity we will be in the same position in another 10 years and we will have only ourselves to blame”.
Paul added: “You are either going backwards or forwards. Nobody owes you a living and the city council cannot be held solely responsible for the future success of any business. BID is a collective investment and it is a way of ensuring that all businesses, large or small, pay their way for the common good of the town and the business community.
‘‘Now is the time to get involved, stop moaning and put your business in the driving seat. Whether office, service, leisure or retailer, all should get involved to ensure the BID benefits everyone - together we can achieve so much more”.
The next and final open meeting will be held on Thursday, April 26, at 6.30pm in The Boat House restaurant, to which all businesses in the proposed BID area are invited.
There are currently eleven BIDs in Scotland and should the vote be successful, a new company will be set up to manage the projects proposed in the business plan and to ensure the £750,000 budget delivers maximum return over the next five years.
To book your place at the BID event on April 26 contact Diane on 0131 331 3203 or email diane.queensferry email@example.com