BID to boost Milngavie Precinct gets a positive response

Milngavie precinct'1/8/12'Photo Emma Mitchell
Milngavie precinct'1/8/12'Photo Emma Mitchell

TRADERS in Milngavie Precinct have voiced ‘positive support’ for plans to make the town centre a Business Improvement District (BID).

The BID proposal was unveiled at a meeting held by Milngavie Traders Association earlier this month.

It’s hoped the BID scheme will provide an injection of cash to promote the area and lead its commercial regeneration.

The proposals would see each business in the area pay a proportionate levy based on the rateable value of their property, meaning larger businesses would contribute more than smaller ones.

In addition, a new company would be created to work in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council to tackle issues such as town centre parking.

The new company would also look at securing funding streams from other sources such as the European Union.

Although the process remains in its infancy, Ian Lavrie, chairman of Milngavie Traders Association, says the initial indications are encouraging.

He said: “There was an excellent turnout at the meeting and we received a lot of positive support from the traders.

“Everyone seems to be in agreement that we need to do something about the town centre and there is currently a lot of enthusiasm for the project.

“We now have five new members of the steering group, which is massive in terms of getting the right support.

“That’s what we need to keep this process going, but for now the early signs are promising.”

A previous attempt to establish a BID scheme in the precinct was narrowly defeated last year, as many of the bigger businesses rejected the plan.

However, the traders association is confident that a better explanation of the potential benefits will nurture greater support this time around.

Mr Lavrie added: “It was a lack of knowledge that was the problem the last time, but we feel this time that the level of awareness is much greater.

“Traders and locals really understand what we are trying to do here and their position was pretty clear in the way people turned out for the meeting.

“This is a very busy time for traders so we’re looking to pick things up again after the Christmas period.

“We will likely reconvene in the middle of January and hopefully go to ballot fairly soon after that.”