Businesses to be asked if they back the BID

The project would aim to promote tourism in Bridlington
The project would aim to promote tourism in Bridlington

A ballot of more than 1,700 businesses in the tourism and retail industries from Redcar to Spurn Point is to be held in a bid to bring prosperity and money into the coastal economy.

Consultation is currently taking place for the Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID).

The plan is to raise £6.5million over five years to put back into the communities by way of creating new events, festivals, markets and general improvements and infrastructure.

However, the way the scheme will be funded has already drawn some concern.

Every business with a rateable value of more than £12,000 would have to pay into a mandatory level, which would be valued at 1.5% of that value. For example, a business with a rateable value of £12,000 would pay £180 a year for five years.

Businesses would still pay business rates alongside the new levy.

Before the BID can come into effect, a month-long postal vote of the 1,700 businesses will be held.

The BID team must secure more than 50% of the businesses to vote in favour. Also, the total rateable value of those who vote ‘yes’ must exceed that of the ‘no’ votes.

Money collected would be put into a pot and projects will be devised between the partner groups and business over what it should be spent on.

The Yorkshire Coast team wants to present its business plan in September ahead of the planned vote in November.

Scarborough Council is likely to run the ballot and also collect the levy, should it be approved.