Farnham’s attempts to launch a Business Improvement District (BID) in the town centre will take a major step forward this Friday.

The BID task group is launching its business plan at breakfast time, which will outline the key themes and projects for its five-year term, running from next April to  2029, if it receives the support of the town’s traders.

The plan will be launched at The Bush Hotel from 8am to 9.30am. The meeting is free to attend for all businesses in Farnham.

A representative from Guildford will explain the difference a BID has made to their town,  and how businesses have benefited.

If businesses agree to back the BID, it will generate funds of around £1.5 million over the next five years  to spend on town centre initiatives.

The funding comes from businesses within the BID zone paying two per cent of their rateable value into the pot. 

For instance, a business with a rateable value of £10,000 would pay £200 a year.

BID money can be used only to carry out projects and services which are additional to those already provided by the town, borough and county councils.

In Farnham’s case, the BID will concentrate on:

  • Marketing, promotions and events to help increase town-centre footfall and to ‘reinvigorate’ Farnham’s profile.
  • Making the town ‘safe, clean and welcoming’, introducing town rangers, introducing measures to  reduce business crime and monitoring the street scene. 
  • Offering business support by providing ‘an active, strong, lobbying and advocacy group’.
  • Improving the customer experience, encouraging them to spend more time to experience what’s on offer, and looking to introduce public transport incentives and promotions.
  • Appointing a town-centre manager to hep raise the profile and quality of the town’s night-time economy.

All businesses in the BID zone will receive a hard copy of the business plan, and next month ballot papers will be sent out. They need to returned by October 31.