Manor Royal Business Park improvement scheme bid

Proposals to form a trader-funded improvement scheme at Manor Royal Business Park have taken another step forward, after councillors backed the idea.

Business Improvement Districts (BID),are an arrangement where businesses in a defined area, such as an industrial park, join together and decide what should be improved in the area. They pay towards improvements and have a say in where money is spent.

Council Cabinet members agreed to support proposals to launch a Business Improvement District at the industrial estate, at a Crawley Borough Council cabinet meeting, held on Wednesday (February 13).

Businesses will now get a chance to vote on the plans and if a majority vote in favour of the scheme in April, a BID will be formed.

If the BID is successful the council will be contribute £3,032 per annum to the scheme. It could also be asked to support the BID with cash flow during its early establishment.

A BID would give businesses the freedom to work towards improvements such as broadband provision and better roads.

Jeremy Taylor, from Gatwick Diamond Business Association, said a BID was a valuable tool for businesses.

He said: “I was initially very sceptical about the idea of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). However, once I had seen them working then I grew to realise the value. For me, the value of a BID is that we, as businesses, will decide how we spend the money that we raise. This money will be spent on improving the Manor Royal Business District and bring commercial opportunities to all those within the district. The BID will be our voice and will seek to influence those that we want to influence.

“To my mind, a positive vote in favour of the BID is a vote for self-determination by the Manor Royal Business community.”

In response to concerns that Manor Royal needed to improve to maintain its competitive advantage, the Manor Royal Masterplan and the Manor Royal Business Group were formed.

The Manor Royal Business Group found there was a lack of cohesion and involvement of Manor Royal firms in the area, and said to make the industrial estate a success, a BID was the best solution.

Businesses are expected to vote on the scheme on April 26.