UPDATED: Attempt to set up Business Improvement District in Grantham fails by small margin

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An attempt to set up a Business Improvement District in Grantham has failed.

The result of a ballot held among local businesses throughout November was revealed this morning. While 189 businesses and organisations voted in favour of the BID proposal and only 164 against, the rules of the vote say that the aggregate rateable value of the votes must be taken into account.

The aggregate rateable value of those businesses that voted in favour of the BID was £7,639,050 and that of those that voted against was £7,639,650, just £600 more.

A total of 826 ballot papers were issued and 353 votes were cast, meaning the turnout was 42.86 per cent.

More details and reaction to follow.

Go Grantham Ltd was behind the project. If the project had been given the green light it would have seen more than £2 million invested in schemes, projects and promotion over the next five years with businesses contributing a small per centage of their rateable value every year.

BID project manager Amber Kitching told the Journal: “It’s obviously very disappointing. It was one of the highest turnouts for any BID in the country and I am particularly positive that so many people turned out to back the BID. We are really pleased by what we have done, it’s such a shame that it did not go through. A forty two per cent turnout is a huge turnout for a BID.

“£600 is not even the rateable value of a very small shop. I know how David Cameron must feel over Brexit. The per centage of the vote against in rateable value was 50.001 per cent.

“We wanted to give it a chance and we did that. It was a very long process and we have learned a lot. We have met some fantastic businesses and people. I do feel the business community we have created has improved and people are talking to each other a lot more.

“I don’t think this is the end of Go Grantham. It has the potential to do other things and we will start looking at other projects. There is so much going on in Grantham.”