Businesses in Reading’s town centre have voted to continue to support a scheme that raises millions of pounds of extra private investment to try and boost the local economy.
The Reading central Business Improvement District takes a small proportion from business tax and spends it on ways to improve facilities and promote special events.
In a separate vote local firms in Reading backed a new improvement district around the Abbey Quarter.
Adam Jacobs, Chair of Reading UK, said:
"Reading businesses have recognised the value that the BID has brought to Reading over the past 13 years. They have voted to continue that investment in the town centre which will ensure Reading both retains and grows its position as a great place to live, visit, work and do business.
"Reading UK and members of the town centre’s business community will be working hard over the next few months to pull together the detail of the five-year investment programme for the two BIDs in order to start delivering tangible benefits as soon as possible. We thank them for their confidence in a shared and ambitious vision for Reading and its fantastic community."
Reading Borough Council Leader Jo Lovelock said:
“I am delighted that businesses have voted to renew the Reading Central Business Improvement District (BID) and to create the new Abbey Quarter Commercial District.
“Since it was first established back in 2006 the Central BID has played a major role in helping to support the continued economic success of the town centre and of Reading as a whole. During the current BID period (2014-19), almost £2.5 million of additional funding has been raised though the BID which has helped fund a wide range of initiatives, all aimed at improving the attractiveness of the town centre and supporting its continued economic success. I am certain that both BIDS will go from strength to strength.”