Vibrant events to celebrate the best of Chester will become a regular fixture if a new business district gets the go-ahead, vow city leaders.
Las week we revealed two of the city’s biggest crowd-pullers, the giants parade and the Roman festival, had withdrawn from this summer’s cultural calendar after an issue with dates.
Now a leading businessman has vowed to deliver a programme of ‘high calibre’ events and ‘street animation’ if the business improvement district (BID) gets given the green light.
Paul Daniels, Chairman of CH1 Chester BID – the company behind a drive to create a BID in Chester – said the district would be able to finance a packed programme and join the dots between city businesses to make sure events were promoted effectively.
“It’s a real shame that these two festivals won’t be taking place in Chester this year because they are huge events that celebrate our heritage and attract thousands of visitors,” said Mr Daniels, managing director of thebestofchester.
“We know for certain that quality events and a lively city centre have a direct impact on the commercial success of businesses in that area, helping to drive footfall, increase customer spend and length of stay.
“Through a Business Improvement District (BID) in Chester, we would have the resource and the finance to deliver a programme of high calibre events and street animation.
“Our commercial structure would also ensure activities are promoted effectively and we would take responsibility for joining up the dots with city businesses to make sure they are aware of what’s going on in the area.”
Mr Daniels said the Chester BID could generate £2.5m of private sector investment over the next five years to help deliver a range of benefits, which would be decided amongst the business community.
“The cancellation of these two festivals is disappointing news for our city and our stakeholders. However, it provides another reason for businesses to vote ‘Yes’ to a BID in Chester and if we are successful, we look forward to being involved in future discussions with both organisations,” said Mr Daniels.
In June this year, businesses within a designated area of Chester City Centre will be asked to vote on whether or not Chester should become a BID city. If successful, every business that falls within the BID area would be required to pay a 1% levy on top of their business rates, to fund the improvements those businesses want to see.
For more information about CH1 Chester BID visit www.ch1chesterbid.co.uk.