Communities Minister Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has confirmed she is allocating £300,000 to Business Improvement Districts (BIDS).
The funding will ensure that the eight BIDs operating here (three across Belfast City Centre, with one each in Ballymena, Enniskillen, Strabane, Coleraine and Newry) can continue to play a key role in bringing local businesses and other stakeholders together to help regenerate their areas and to improve their local trading environment.
BIDs are developed, managed and paid for by the business sector by means of a compulsory BID levy.
Minister Ní Chuilín said: “These local partnerships have a proven track record of success in supporting local businesses, providing strong leadership, and driving forward the renewal and regeneration of our town and city centres. Their role will be even more important in the weeks and months ahead.
“I recognise that the ability of some businesses to pay their compulsory BID levy will be severely hampered by the challenging environment they have faced.
“This funding will help with the operational costs of each BID so they can carry on their vital work of supporting their businesses as we move into the critical recovery phase from the current crisis.”
The announcement follows Minister Hargey recently writing to councils to explore how the Department can further assist town and city centres in their recovery. This included offering use of Departmental owned assets and public spaces where this will be helpful to businesses and to outline the Minister’s intention to develop a Capital Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Scheme to fund works that will aid in the recovery of towns and cities.