Weymouth BID (Business Improvement District) have applied to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for a substantial cash loan which has been refused according to DN sources.
The revelation comes as the BID, who are looking to secure another five year term to help businesses with footfall by the way of events and marketing in the Dorset seaside resort from mid 2018.
Back in May 2013 former chairman Nigel Reed claimed in the BID’s introduction that the 1.5% levy that’s paid by businesses with a rateable value of £6000 and over will ‘for the first time ever the business community will have a sensible budget which can be used to create change and increase business in the resort.’
A manifesto also claimed to break even but with a small surplus year on year but it seems it has failed to strike harmony with business owners in Weymouth, many who are very unhappy that they can’t opt out of paying.
Reed has since left his role to take up a similar position at Go Southampton.
Looking at accounts for the twelve month period between 1st August 2015 – 31st July 2016 show that the BID show a deficit of around £77k, they also show ‘website costs’ of over £90k and ‘advertising’ of around £70k in a three year period.
Other fees have soared, in the initial manifesto it was claimed that £44k per annum would be the rough figure over five years for staff but in two years ’employment costs’ were nearly £160k
An angry local businessman who pays more than one levy into the BID and wished to remain anonymous said “The bid collect hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of money from levy payers each year. What the hell have they done with the money?!”