TOWN centre management company Rugby First plans to turn Rugby into ‘a hub for local communities’, after it won a third term as the town’s official Business Improvement District (BID) organisation.
Businesses in the town centre voted in favour of Rugby First by an 83.7% majority – up from 73.4% in 2010 and 66% in 2005 – meaning it will continue in the role for another five years.
The result was announced by Rugby Borough Council Executive Director Adam Norburn on Tuesday (July 14) in the Council Chamber of Rugby Town Hall.
Alistair George, Chairman of Rugby First, said: “When putting together the business plan for the next five years we listened to what the businesses wanted, while at the same time offering value for money. The yes vote clearly shows that the majority of businesses are happy with the plan and have complete confidence in Rugby First’s ability to deliver.”
He said Rugby First would continue to build and develop existing services – Town Rangers, CCTV operation, cleaning services, marketing, promotions and events – as well as develop new ones that will benefit businesses and the town centre.
He added: “To ensure the town centre’s long term growth and prosperity Rugby must become a hub for local communities to shop, work, relax and do business. Businesses, public bodies and residents must all work together to achieve this and only if these are all in place will businesses and the town centre flourish.”
Rugby First board member and manager of Parriss Jewelers Mike O’Connor said: “Rugby BID is recognised nationally as an example of ‘Best Practice’. There is no doubt in my mind that Rugby is a great place to live and do business.
“We must continue to work together with the council, listen and be innovative in whatever we do ensuring our town centre prospers and is one businesses, organisations, communities, customers and individuals can be proud of.”
Town shopkeepers known to be opposed to a third term for Rugby First either could not be contacted, or declined to comment.
Factfile: Rugby First – Rugby Business Improvement District
- Rugby was one of the first UK towns to have a Business Improvement District organisation
- It is funded and run by businesses in the town centre
BID members vote to decide the levy (the amount paid by each member business) and how the budget is spent. This cannot be changed mid term
- Rugby First and the borough council co-sponsor marketing projects such as The Rugby Festival of Culture, the Christmas Light switch on, voucher schemes and a food and drink festival