Businesses and organisations in Lanark have come together to make their voice heard and to work collectively to deliver a range of services that will make a real and lasting difference to their town. In early 2019, they voted to set up a Business Improvement District (BID) which came into operation in September 2019 and will run for a 5 year period.
Businesses told us that they would like to see a programme of improvements across 4 key themes:
- Appearance and Access – Improving how Lanark is presented to locals and visitors
- Business – Putting successful businesses at the heart of Lanark’s community
- Community – Businesses and community working together for a better Lanark
- Lanark and New Lanark – working together to capitalise on tourism
Over the next 5 years, Discover Lanark will deliver a range of projects, services and initiatives across these themes to improve the area for businesses.
Discover Lanark is funded by a levy based on the rateable value of eligible businesses. Additional funding comes from Border Biscuits Community Fund. This will be invested into the town on the projects that businesses have identified as a priority to them and which were set out in the original BID Business Plan 2019 – 2024. Across the next five years, almost £1 million will be spent on implementing the BID’s programme and creating a brighter future for the town.
What is a BID?
A BID is a business led and business funded organisation formed to improve a defined area, in our case the town of Lanark. There are now over 300 BIDs across the UK, and they are increasingly influential in determining the direction of town and city centres
In essence, businesses decide what improvements they want to make to their town and what projects and services will add value to their business. They determine how these will be managed and delivered.
The BID is funded through a BID levy, based on the rateable value of each property, and the money is ring-fenced and used by the BID to deliver the business plan. Once a majority vote in favour of the BID has been achieved, the BID levy becomes mandatory on all eligible ratepayers.
Discover Lanark’s Board of Directors is made up of owners and managers of local businesses, and representatives of the public and/or third sectors. They are responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the BID, ensuring that projects are delivered within budget to meet the needs of the town’s businesses. They bring together their expertise, ideas and enthusiasm in order to guide the BID forward and to support the work of the BID Manager. The daytime and evening economies, and different sectors of the local economy, are represented as we try to develop and deliver the best possible programme for the whole of the town.