Hundreds of shops, cafes and other business owners have been asked to vote on whether to back the scheme, which via a levy. would provide about £525,000 annually over five years, with hopes to improve the look of the city with the likes of street furniture and floral displays. It would also result in the employment of ‘street rangers’ to report antisocial behaviour.
The city centre could potentially host more events, such as extra festivals and markets, and additional funding would be provided for the Christmas Lights switch-on.
“There are around 200 such districts’s in the UK including ones in Luton, Hitchin, Bedford and Watford. Feelings varied amongst local business owners with some in support of the scheme and others concerned that the levy would go towards services that should already be covered by rates and council Tax.
If the ballot approves the scheme, a not for profit company would operate from April next year.