Businesses' appeal against Yorkshire Coast BID has been refused

Businesses have lost their appeal against the Yorkshire Coast BID.
Businesses have lost their appeal against the Yorkshire Coast BID.

An appeal against a controversial tourism levy that was voted on in Scarborough and the Yorkshire coast has been thrown out.

The Yorkshire Coast Destination Business Improvement District (DBID) aims to raise more than £5 million over five years to put back into the communities by way of creating new events, festivals, markets and general improvements and infrastructure.

But a number of businesses expressed concerns about how the money will be raised via a mandatory levy on every retail, leisure, accommodation and food and drink organisation with a rateable value of £12,000 and above.

These businesses, from Staithes in the north to Spurn Point in the south, would have to pay into the levy, which would be calculated at 1.5% of that value.

The ballot of businesses was passed by a margin of 217 voted for to 175 against. However, it has since come to light that 71 of the yes votes came from the councils involved in the process.

An appeal with lodged with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, but today it has been revealed that he has declared that the appeal case is invalid, clearing the way for the scheme to commence.

Clive Rowe-Evans, Yorkshire Coast BID Task Group chairman, said: “We are extremely pleased that after a thorough review, the Secretary of State officially declared the appeal to be invalid.

“At all times the Yorkshire Coast BID has not only followed but exceeded the industry guidelines and the regulation.”

Following the ballot in November, 44, out of the eligible 1,044 businesses, just 4% of the total balloted, lodged an appeal to the Secretary of State.

In order for the appeal to proceed 5% of businesses had to lodge an appeal.