Decision details

Herefordshire County Business Improvement District Advance Request

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To seek approval for an advance loan of up to £210,000 in 2022/23 to the Herefordshire County Business Improvement District (BID) Limited to enable the company to become operational until such time as the council (as the billing authority) can commence collection of the 2% business rates levy.

Decision:

That:

a) To approve a short term 0% loan of up to £210,000 in 2022/23 to the Herefordshire County BID Limited, to be paid on commencement of the Operating Agreement and repaid within the financial year through collection of the levy by the council as the billing authority; and
b) To delegate to the Section 151 Officer following consultation with the cabinet member environment and economy all operational decisions in relation to the payment and recovery of the loan.

Alternative options considered:

The council could choose not to provide a loan to the Herefordshire County BID Limited in advance of the collection of the levy. This is not recommended as it would lead to significant delay of the Herefordshire County Business Improvement District (County BID) becoming operational, and would fail to deliver the Herefordshire County Plan 2020-2024 commitment to support tourism. The County Plan states ‘We will… Protect and promote our heritage, culture and natural beauty to enhance quality of life and support tourism’. The County BID will also support visitor economy businesses and independent retailers, the sectors worst affected by Covid 19 and the related lockdown periods. The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and the council have funded a range of support to enable the soonest possible recovery from the pandemic, including the redevelopment of the visitor website and a wide range of marketing and PR which is now coming to an end. The County BID will now lead and fund this and other activity going forward. Any delay in the commencement of the County BID would result in the loss of these critical services ahead of peak visitor season.

Reason Key: Expenditure and strategic nature / impact on communities;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Contact: Roger Allonby, Head of economic development Email: Roger.Allonby@herefordshire.gov.uk Tel: 01432 260330.

Publication date: 26/05/2022

Date of decision: 26/05/2022

Effective from: 02/06/2022

Accompanying Documents:

  • Herefordshire County Business Improvement District Advance Request