Over 90% of businesses approve LQ BIDS’s second five-year term
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Linen Quarter Business Improvement District (LQ BID) has been appointed for a second five-year term following a six-week statutory ballot period.
The results showed resounding support of the BID’s role and contribution to the District, with 92% of its business members voting yes.
Businesses based their decision on LQ BID’s five-year business plan which details £3.7m of proposed investment for the vibrant city District which is home to hospitality hotspots, luxury hotels and high-grade office buildings. The BID will also now extend its remit to include The Gasworks and southern stretches of the Dublin Road and Great Victoria Street.
LQ BID was first appointed in 2018 for an initial term of five years. The Term Two vote returned a significant increase to the Term One ballot which saw a yes vote of 78%. Around 350 organisations in the Linen Quarter currently pay the BID an annual levy, contributions that are ringfenced to a shared fund and used to maintain the area and deliver improvements.
Blair Mayne, chair of LQ BID, said: “We welcome this immensely positive result for the Linen Quarter which could not have been achieved without the support of our members. The BID has been a positive force for the District since 2018 and has led the successful delivery of over 30 projects and more than £2.8 million in improvements in that five years. Looking ahead to the next five years, the LQ and its surrounding areas are set to benefit from £1 billion investment in redevelopments, including the Grand Central Station, Weaver's Cross, North-South Glider, and new office blocks, residential and student accommodation. The support for our second term is crucial to ensure the LQ’s businesses are represented as they come to fruition.”
Chris McCracken, managing director for LQ BID, explained: “We look forward to delivering on our manifesto commitments and keeping regeneration, sustainability, cleanliness and safety high on the agenda. The extension of our remit will allow us to deliver more across a greater stretch of the city including new social spaces, enhanced seating, enhanced planting, murals and parklets all of which delivers a more positive city experience for those who work, live or visit the area, and of course drives footfall to support the longevity of our member businesses.”
LQ BID’s five-year business plan proposes to deliver 50 additional projects to the District. Including a weekly ‘safe and clean’ street audit which will see an enhanced PSNI service within the area, a dedicated full-time police offer and the Linen Quarter’s clean team increasing from three to five days a week. In terms of regeneration, the BID is proposing to make a tangible difference to parts of the city that have been neglected for far too long. Working alongside the City Council and local stakeholders, the BID aims to invest a six-figure sum around the Dublin Road and Southern Great Victoria Street, with the long-term goal of attracting new capital investment. The BID will also renew the vision for the whole district, which includes commissioning a consultancy report to explore how to enhance the Gasworks, such as improved social spaces, accessibility and design features.