A Business Improvement District will now be formed in Falmouth following a “yes” vote from the town.
The result was delivered on Friday after a year of work by members of the BID steering group to develop the proposal.
Volunteers from businesses across the town who have donated their time and energies to get the scheme off the ground celebrated the “Yes” vote at the St Michael’s Hotel, where the news was announced.
A total of 54% of businesses took part in the ballot – 218 of the 407 eligible to vote.
Of these, 153 were in favour, representing a 70% majority.
Work will start immediately to put proposals into motion for improved marketing, signage, events for Falmouth plus lobbying on local issues.
A not-for-profit limited company called Falmouth BID has already been established with two acting directors.
Nigel Carpenter, chairman of the Falmouth BID steering group, said: “We are absolutely over the moon with this result. We very much appreciate the support from Falmouth’s businesses, charities and other organisations which voted to create the BID, particularly in these challenging times of recession.
“We now have £500k available to us over the next five years which we expect will make a significant impact on Falmouth for visitors, residents and traders alike.
“The directors of Falmouth BID will be working incredibly hard over the next five years to ensure this money is invested responsibly in projects that will make a difference.
“We welcome input from businesses and individuals keen to get involved and help shape the success of the Falmouth BID.”
David Pollard, town manager, will work closely with Falmouth BID and support the Project Executive in implementing the improvements.
He said: “This is superb news for Falmouth. I’m looking forward to building a partnership with the BID team and supporting the new Project Executive in making things happen.
“This investment will enable us to put Falmouth on the map so we can all enjoy our town at its best.”
Falmouth’s mayor Cllr Mike Varney also gave his congratulations to the BID team.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted with this wonderful news. It goes to show that by the businesses of Falmouth working together, the future of our town is looking good.
“I’d like to congratulate everybody who has put in a huge amount of work to make this initiative happen.”
What will happen next?
Recruitment of a Falmouth BID Project and Marketing Executive
Falmouth BID has received backing the from Combined Universities in Cornwall graduate placement scheme Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP).
This includes a wage subsidy to recruit an experienced graduate to become Falmouth BID’s sole employee.
The recruitment process is already well under way, with 57 applicants for the post. Interviews are expected to take place imminently with the successful candidate starting in May.
Formation of the Board of Directors
Falmouth BID is the not-for-profit, limited company which will govern the running of the BID investment.
The company already has two directors, Nigel Carpenter and James Hodgson, and is looking for more committed and passionate individuals to join the board.
In particular, champions for each of the four projects – marketing, events, signage and lobbying – are being sought.
Engagement with stakeholders
The people behind Falmouth BID are already keen to start working with fellow organisations within the town: the town council, Town Forum, Chamber of Commerce, Falmouth Hotels Association, and similar bodies to ensure all are working together towards appropriate goals.
To get involved with the Falmouth BID, please contact town centre manager David Pollard: email@example.com, 01326 313553, 34 Church Street, Falmouth, TR11 3EF