By Jennifer Byrne

03 March 2015


City centre businesses in Exeter have voted to establish a Business Improvement District, which will result in £2.4million being invested over the next five years in making the city centre even more successful. 

The vote saw the BID attract 61% of the businesses voting in favour and 65% of rateable value voting in favour.  Overall turnout of the 641 businesses eligible to vote was 44%

Derek Phillips, Chair of the Exeter BID Company, said: "Great result for Exeter. It is such a massive vote of confidence for the city’s future prosperity and businesses themselves. We need to say thank you to the BID Steering group for their hard work in producing the exciting business plan and selling the benefits of the BID to their neighbours. I’d also like to thank our professional advisors Destination Marketing and One Voice Media.

Now the real work begins. The reformed BID board will have the task of delivering what has been promised to benefit all who live, work and visit our great city.”

Work will now start in setting up a company to progress a number of projects, to attract more visitors and improve the appearance of the city centre.  Additional marketing of the city centre and new events will also be an early priority. The ideas which have been set out in the BID Business Plan include a wide range of projects to be undertaken in the first year. Businesses have also been invited to come forward with their own ideas to improve business success in specific areas of the city centre to which grant support could be given by the company. The BID will run for up to 5 years and continuation beyond the first five years would depend on a subsequent vote.    

Mattie Richardson, owner of Bunyip Beads and Buttons said: “Such a great outcome for Exeter. Everyone has been working so hard in making sure that the Exeter BID was successful. I am really looking forward to seeing all that will be achieved now that we have a positive vote. So much time has been put in to the Exeter BID and now we can start to reap the rewards.”

James Clark, Store Manager at Marks and Spencer said “I am very pleased that the city centre businesses have seized the opportunity to make things happen for Exeter. Now the hard work starts! I am sure the effect of this positive vote will bring many benefits across Exeter’s centre and surrounding areas.”

Back to articles