Traders in Milngavie are celebrating this week after winning a crucial vote which they hope will secure the prosperity of the town.
Businesses have given the thumbs up to the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) in a ballot which closed on Monday at 5pm.
Eighty-one per cent were in favour of the BID and it will officially kick off on May 1 when a company will be set up to run for five years.
This is the second time there’s been a campaign to create a BID for the area, after a disappointing defeat in 2011, and the news was met with jubilation by the organisers.
Ian Lavrie, owner of Allander Flooring and Chair of Milngavie My Way Steering Group, which created the BID’s five year business plan, said: “This is a landmark day in the future of our town and I’m absolutely thrilled that business owners have given the BID their vote of confidence.
“I would like to personally thank the Steering Group members, the business community and Pauline Cameron the project manager who have stuck with this proposal through thick and thin.
“There have been some challenging times along the way, but they never wavered in their conviction that this would be a positive move for Milngavie, and I’m delighted that their perseverance and dedication has paid off. I would also like to pay tribute to East Dunbartonshire Council’s economic development team.
“Ploughing at least £500,000 into our trading environment over the next few years is no longer just an aspiration. It’s a reality. That’s something I think the whole town and its residents should be very excited about.
“This BID will make a real and lasting difference to our town.”
Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson said: “This is fantastic news and a new beginning for the village.
“The BID’s proposal this year was notable for its focus on working with the wider community to secure a future for the trading environment. Partnerships with local community groups Milngavie Youth Centre and Milngavie in Bloom have already been brokered as part of this strategy.”
Pauline Cameron said: “We realise that in today’s trading environment businesses from all sectors – and not just retail - are the essential driver behind keeping the high street alive and well.
“But retail, tourism, leisure and community development are also all part of the solution to sustaining the local economy and our business plan has reflected this.
“The BID’s strapline is ‘Thriving business at the heart of the community’ and it will be committed to delivering just that.”
Councillor Alan Moir, Convener of the council’s Development and Regeneration Committee, said: “This is terrific news for the future of the town centre.
“The economic development team has been working hard with the BID Steering Group for a long time and they all deserve great praise.
“The council has agreed to contribute more than £150,000 over the five-year period of the business plan - to improve the town centre, support businesses and protect jobs.
“The creation of a BID in Milngavie is a fantastic boost for the town.”
Councillor Eric Gotts said: “This is really great news for the village. The Steering Group of trader volunteers, led by Iain Lavrie, deserve a huge vote of thanks for all the work involved in producing this positive outcome.”
Local MP Jo Swinson said: “It’s fantastic that Milngavie precinct will become a Business Improvement District.
“Now local businesses will have a greater say in how the town centre is managed in order to increase footfall and improve the individuality and the appearance of the village. It will help bring more businesses, jobs and vitality to the town.”
The BID has made over 22 separate commitments including a £32,500 property facelift, £45,000 events/festivals budget, £35,000 for brand and marketing for the town centre.
For more information go to www.milngaviemyway.co.uk