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Council eyes replacing late night levy with business improvement district

Cheltenham Borough Council has launched a consultation on whether its Late Night Levy should be superseded by a newly established Business Improvement District (“BID”).

A BID was established in Cheltenham in August 2016 covering the main town centre. It is expected to generate around £440,000 a year or £2.15m over its five-year term.

If the proposal goes ahead, then the levy would cease to have effect from 31 March next year.

According to the council, the recommendation that the levy should be superseded was based on:

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  • The need to ensure that businesses are not unduly burdened by two levies;
  • The understanding that levy activities will be incorporated in BID activities; and
  • The fact that BID income will be substantially more than the income raised through the levy.

Cllr Andy McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety at Cheltenham, said: “We are consulting with licence holders, the police, the police and crime commissioner and the people of Cheltenham to get their views on the future of the late night levy in Cheltenham.

“In terms of what we want to achieve for the town, its businesses and residents, we feel the newly established BID offers more flexibility, transparency and opportunity than is currently offered by the late night levy.

“We have over the last two years achieved a lot of good outcomes with the levy in Cheltenham’s night-time economy but our ambitions for Cheltenham encompass a need for investment in both the night-time and day-time economies which is why we are consulting on the future of the late night levy.”

The consultation runs until 7 November. The paper can be viewed here.


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