A raft of proposals to improve Christchurch High Street and encourage more shoppers into town have been unveiled.

As lockdown eases ever further and more people are venturing into town centres, Christchurch town BID have published their 'priority projects'.

Work on the development of a BID proposal for Christchurch was suspended in March, although has now resumed with an extended timescale.

During lockdown, the BID Steering Group remained active in both dealing with the impact of the crisis on their businesses and keeping fellow businesses aware of key updates.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, the Christchurch BID had begun engaging with residents and business owners in the area to find out whether a BID project would help the area and how far the project area should cover.

In a statement published on their website, the Christchurch BID said they had received 85 responses to their survey.

“The survey indicated a high level of support for the BID concept, with 88 per cent considering that the town would benefit somewhat, quite a lot or hugely from the additional spending a BID would bring and 67 per cent indicating that their premises should fall within a BID boundary.”

As a result of these initial consultation, the Christchurch BID steering group have outlined 15 priority projects.

These include enhancing the aesthetics of the area by improving the appearance of empty shops, increasing the amount of floral planting or landscaping and the physical improvements to paving, landscaping or street furniture.

The steering group are also looking to help draw more people to the area by improving the marketing of the town to a far wider audience and creating new seasonal events, including more Christmas activities, whilst providing car parking discounts for residents.

Technological investments have also been suggested including installing town centre Wi-Fi for visitors, promoting the area through social media campaigns and enhancing the visitor website.

A Christchurch BID spokesman said: “We will be refining the proposed BID projects based on further feedback from businesses over the coming weeks and will be pulling together all of the proposed improvements within a draft business plan which will be subject to further consultation.

“Please therefore get in touch if you think that anything is missing from this initial list of projects.”

The revised proposals are for the vote to take place from Tuesday March 2 until Tuesday March 30, 2021, with the BID being operational by July 2021, subject to a positive business vote.