Changes set for Exeter City Centre management due to funding shortfall
Changes look set to be made to the way Exeter manages its High Street and city centre shops and businesses.
Plans have been announced to dissolve Exeter’s City Centre Management Partnership and instead concentrate all efforts on creating a Business Improvement District.
Letters have been sent to all members of the Partnership proposing that it be dissolved on November 28, 2014.
Cllr Rosie Denham, Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: “Devon County Council has ended its £20,000-a-year contribution to the partnership. Funding has always been split between the two councils and private business and therefore the unilateral withdrawal from city centre management means that it is appropriate that a new governance emerges for the city centre led by the private sector.”
David Shawyer, chair of the City Centre Partnership, said that much had been achieved in recent times with the city centre management working in partnership with the business and there are still challenges ahead.
“However the context is changing markedly with major reductions in public sector funding. There is a pressing need to review how the private sector can and should take up the leadership and resourcing of whatever approach is now needed to the threats and opportunities specifically facing Exeter’s city centre businesses.”
He added: “The proposed Business Improvement District provides a real opportunity for businesses to work together, supported by city council, to effectively shape the future of the city.
“We should work hard collectively, putting all our efforts toward a successful vote and the implementation of a range of successful projects to enable the city centre to thrive.
“A successful vote is far from guaranteed and the levy payers will need to work well together to establish the BID before it can develop a more strategic role. ”
Cllr Denham said the city council would give its full backing to the BID, and continue to play its part as resources diminished but was keen to stress that the activities undertaken in managing the city centre would continue to be carried out in the interim.
(from a press release)
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