HUNTINGDON’S plans to set up a Business Improvement District (BID) could cost taxpayers at least £11,000 a year.

Huntingdonshire District Council has revealed that its potential bill from the levy - which would provide a pot of money to be spent on improvement schemes in the town centre - would be about £11,320 a year.

Huntingdon Town Partnership is currently campaigning for the setting up of a BID, which would see every business within the town centre, and possibly slightly further afield, charged a compulsory levy that would be based on their business rates. The charge is likely to be 1.5 per cent - but only if the scheme finds favour with businesses which will be asked this summer to vote for or against the setting up of the BID.

HDC has already put £27,000 into the development phase, its overview and scrutiny panel (economic and well-being) will be told tomorrow (Thursday). It adds that if the ballot is successful at a levy of 1.5 per cent, HDC's would pay approximately £56,600 over a five year period, the maximum life span of a BID. The £27,000 would be offset against HDC's future levy contributions.

As previously reporter by The Hunts Post, it was hoped that the BID would raise between £200,000 and £250,000 a year to spend on key projects which would be agreed by a team representing businesses involved in the BID. Businesses have already indicated priority areas such as safety and security, marketing and promotion, events, graffiti and gum, central procurement, and car parking.

A business plan would be agreed by May 24 and would be followed by a vote, ending on July 12.

INFORMATION: To find out more visit www.bidhuntingdon.co.uk