Southend Could Be First BID In Essex

Southend could be about to get the first town centre Business Improvement District - or BID - in Essex.

It's where shops and restaurants pay a small proportion of their rates into a pot - the money's then used to make the town centre safer and more attractive.

Dawn Jeekings from the Town Centre Partnership tells Heart they've now got to get retailers on board: "Once we get that communication very clear to every single business I know that they will be on board with it.

"It is obviously a very difficult time for everyone and we need to make sure that Southend is the best place that comes out in this in a very positive light."

Dawn adds: "I cannot stress enough how important it is that all the businesses involved take the time to find out more about the Southend BID and cast their vote.

"This is an exciting opportunity to have direct input into the future of our town and do something to really make a difference. Despite the ongoing financial recovery, Southend becoming a BID could mean the difference between success and failure for many businesses."

Local businesses are now being balloted to see whether they want to give this the go-ahead.