Council approves funding to support Penicuik business BID project

Friday August 14th 2015

Midlothian Council has approved funding of up to £37,000 to meet the costs of collecting a new business levy for the Penicuik Business Improvement District (BID).

The Penicuik BID got the go ahead in May of this year, following a ballot of local businesses. The aim of the project is for these businesses to work together to invest in and improve the town centre by increasing customer footfall, filling vacant properties and creating new job opportunities.

The Bid projects will be managed and delivered through a compulsory levy on 96 local businesses. Annual payments will range from £170 to £1,900 depending on the rateable value of the property concerned. More than three-quarters of the businesses are in the lower two bands, paying £170 to £290 a year.

Following a decision taken at a meeting of the full Council on Tuesday (August 11) the costs of collecting this levy will be met by Midlothian Council. The City of Edinburgh Council will undertake the collection work, as they already collect non-domestic rates on Midlothian’s behalf. The £37,000 budget has been approved for a period of five years.

“ We don’t think that it would be reasonable to expect the businesses who are being asked to pay the levy to also pick up the collection costs,” said Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development, councillor Jim Bryant. “This is an exciting, business-led opportunity to regenerate Penicuik town centre, and the council is keen to give it the support it needs to help make it a success.”

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