BCP Council has announced the formation of a Business Improvement District (BID) for Christchurch after a ballot of regional businesses.

Christchurch BID will support trading throughout the town and it is hoped that the new venture will bring in more than £600,000 over the next five years to be spent on the town centre through a variety of business-led projects.

The decision was confirmed after 78 per cent of levy payers voted ‘yes’ to support the formation of a BID within the town.

The BID ballot met two key criteria. Firstly, that 50 per cent of those voting would vote in favour, and that those ‘yes’ votes represented a majority of the total rateable value of all of the voting businesses. There was a majority 81.9 per cent rateable value percentage.

The ballot was facilitated with the assistance of BCP Council.

Christchurch BID will now operate through to October 2026.

Deputy council leader Cllr Philip Broadhead said: “Christchurch is an amazing town with a beautiful high street and strong local businesses, but we’ve all seen the impact that a changing retail market coupled with the pandemic has had.

“Christchurch BID will be hugely beneficial, ensuring longevity and prosperity for Christchurch’s town centre. With a resounding 78 per cent voting in favour of this initiative, levy payers have clearly demonstrated their strong commitment to progress their town even further.

“This will see Christchurch and its wonderful array of businesses continue to thrive in the coming years.’’

Lucy Filer, chair of the Christchurch BID development board, said: “Our objective is to make Christchurch town centre the best place for our visitors to enjoy and for our residents and traders to live and work in.

“We firmly believe that the result confirmed today will allow local businesses to commit to the town safe in the knowledge that they will be supported in a dynamic and collaborative environment. This marks the beginning of a new era for business in Christchurch and one we are very much anticipating being a success.”