Lincoln business people will get to decide on the future of the city’s Business Improvement Group (BIG) when ballot papers go out later this month.
The papers will be sent from September 25 to people at more than 800 businesses who will have until November 4 to register their vote.
Lincoln Business Improvement Group has already won two successful elections in the past ten years and is now hoping it will get a mandate to continue its work on the development of the city centre economy.
The organisation recently celebrated the milestone of investing £10 million on city centre services, events and infrastructure and launched its plans if it successfully secures another five year term.
Those proposals included a team of tour guides ready to meet the crowds travelling to Lincoln for the Magna Carta celebrations, the development of the walk-and-ride service, and a strategy to develop the evening economy.
Lincoln BIG already undertakes a range of work on behalf of the city – including operating the city centre wardens and dealing with security incidents; organising events such as Lincoln in Bloom, the Christmas ice rink and various street markets and managing bus and car parking deals.
BIG also currently runs the Lincoln Visitor Information Centre, supports Visit Lincoln and hosts the VisitLincoln.com team.
In May this year the organisation successfully led a campaign to get new brown signs directing people to the city erected at two junctions of the A1.
In order to secure another five-year term Lincoln BIG must get, not only a majority of votes cast, but the positive votes must represent at least 50% of the rateable value of those businesses that vote.
The organisation is funded by a small levy applied to all business rates paid within the designated BIG area but it also applies for funding from a variety of external sources such as the government, European funding bodies, the Arts Council and the Lottery.
“I think we have done an excellent job of helping the growth of the Lincoln economy in the last decade but we know there is more work to be done,” said BIG chief executive Matt Corrigan.
“Of course we hope we will get the mandate to continue our efforts but, while I hope people will vote in our favour, I think it’s just important that people register a vote at all.
“Whatever people’s view we just want them to ensure they play a part in deciding on the fate of their city. It is really important that local businesses use their opportunity to have a say on the future of Lincoln.”
Lincoln BIG was created by businesses in Lincoln city centre, who voted to establish a Business Improvement District in April 2005.
Lincoln BIG is a not for profit business, registered as a company limited by guarantee, and is controlled by a board of directors drawn from stakeholders in the city centre.