Renfrewshire Council’s Leader is urging Paisley firms to get behind business-led plans to help revitalise the town centre.
Plans are well advanced in the town to set up a Business Improvement District – which would see local firms work together on projects of mutual benefit.
A BID is set up when all businesses within a geographical area opt to collectively invest in schemes to improve the area, paid for through a compulsory BID levy.
All firms within the BID area boundary will vote by secret ballot in October on whether to adopt the plans.
Paisley First – a group of local organisations who are leading the process – have produced a detailed business plan for how it will all work.
And Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan has thrown his support behind the proposals, saying local firms should back the BID.
He said: “Paisley town centre faces the same challenges as traditional shopping areas everywhere – but we believe there are exciting times ahead in the near future.
“The council this year unveiled ambitious plans to use Paisley’s outstanding heritage and cultural assets to drive a wide-ranging programme of regeneration over the next decade and help attract tourism.
“But we can only make that happen with the support of all within the local community – and town centre businesses will be at the heart of that process.
“With that in mind, they stand to gain from having a body to represent their interests and bring people together to support projects which will help boost local trade for all.
“Business Improvement Districts are already working well in other towns and I would encourage all firms within the boundary to get on board with the proposals and back the BID.”
Councillor Macmillan recently met with former MEP Hugh McMahon and Ken MacDonald, of Houston Kiltmakers, the chair and deputy chair of the Paisley First Steering Group.
Hugh McMahon said: “Paisley First is fully supportive of Renfrewshire Council’s extremely imaginative and exciting proposals for town centre regeneration by exploiting Paisley’s historic past and iconic buildings.
“Paisley First has built on these proposals in our current business plan, designed to bring specific benefits based on dealing with issues highlighted through consulting Paisley businesses, to be circulated to all business in the proposed BID area.”
There are already 22 BIDs around Scotland, but should one be adopted in Paisley it would boast the highest number of businesses of any apart from Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
All business within the BID area will receive a copy of the business plan and a ballot paper when the 42-day ballot period kicks off on Friday 3 October.
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