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Council agrees the next steps in their plan to support Okehampton becoming a Business Improvement District

30 January 2023

A town centre showing retail shops, pedestrians, road signs and cars.

Businesses in Okehampton are to be asked to share their views on Okehampton town centre becoming a Business Improvement District.

West Devon Borough Council is supporting Okehampton Town Council in its ambition of creating a Business Improvement District (BID). A BID is a business led partnership, supported by local authority, to deliver shared objectives, attract visitor footfall, remove barriers to trading and support the local economy to thrive and grow.

A 2022 survey, commissioned by the Borough Council, of local businesses in Okehampton Town Centre identified that many felt marketing and events were important for their business, as well as the need to improve tourism to the area. The role of a BID is to support these types of objectives through joint working and a single, funded and deliverable plan of activities for the entire business community.

The next stage of the project includes a consultation with local businesses and a more in-depth study of the local economic landscape; this is due to be completed in spring 2023. If the consultation indicates that businesses are keen to see the BID progress, a formal ballot process will take place from November to December 2023, where all businesses will be invited to vote on the proposal.

Councillor Peter Crozier, Lead Member for Economy for West Devon Borough Council, said: "With the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the rise in the cost of living, it is vital that we work together to support our business community in relieving the pressures many businesses are facing now and in the future.

"West Devon Borough Council is keen to support the formation of a Business Improvement District and believes it will provide a unified voice within the business community, providing many more opportunities for growth.

"Together with Okehampton Town Council, we are delighted to share the next steps in this important project and look forward to working closely with the local business community to ensure all views are heard."

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