BUSINESSES in Barrow’s town centre will soon be asked to vote on whether an organisation designed to boost trade will continue for the next five years.

A proposal has been put forward by Barrow Business Improvement District to carry on their plans for the town until 2026.

The BID is funded by a levy on businesses within a defined area of the town centre

Each business is entitled to vote in a ballot, which will sent out from May 27.

Barrow BID manager Colin Garnett is hopeful to receive the backing of businesses and hopes to make up for lost momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “The town centre has had a tough 15 months with Covid and you have seen how it has devastated national chain brands on the high street - we just lost Debenhams, we lost River Island and Topshop and Thorntons.

“I think for us as a BID the Covid pandemic came and killed our momentum from 2019. We felt like with the events and all of the projects we were doing in 2019 we were starting to increase pride and change the perception of Barrow town centre and getting people back to shops, and then Covid has come along and really hit us hard.

“For me and for all of the directors at Barrow BID we want to get back to delivering quality projects and initiatives, events and things that are going to promote Barrow town centre and get people back into the town.

“We want to give that return on investment to businesses. If they vote yes and put in to Barrow BID we are going to deliver what they need and more to try and promote the town and safeguard the businesses and hopefully encourage some inward investment into the town as well.”

The Barrow BID proposal includes amending the boundaries to reflect the changing focus of the town.

It includes moving a current boundary on Rawlinson Street to be extended to Greengate Street on both sides, and an extension of the boundary around Schneider Square roundabout to reflect the proposed development of the Marina Village and the development of Alfred Barrow Health Centre.

The proposal also states that they will deliver on four objectives over the five year period.

These are: creating a Busier Barrow through marketing and promoting the town centre as a destination for local residents and visitors; creating a Brighter Barrow by improving the visual aspect and environment of the town; creating a Better Barrow by improving the offer of the town centre and providing more reasons to visit, and helping businesses to Bounce Back from the pandemic.

Voting will take place entirely by post with information and ballot papers sent to those eligible from May 27. Papers must be returned by 5pm on June 24.