Northampton firms launch Wellingborough Road improvement scheme

A steering group of Wellingborough Road businesses are launching a plan to make the area a Business Improvement District.
A steering group of Wellingborough Road businesses are launching a plan to make the area a Business Improvement District.

Around 400 Wellingborough Road businesses are set to vote on whether to adopt a Business Improvement District (BID) in the area.

Northampton currently has two BIDs at Brackmills and the town centre, which have the power to manage their own trading environment.

The districts are funded by a levy on firm’s business rates, which then goes into a communal pot used to make improvements to the areas.

Now a group of firms on Wellingborough Road are hoping to introduce the scheme there as well.

The move is being supported by Northampton Borough Council, which has committed £20,000-a-year to the project.

Director of Beach Marketing on the road, Steve Bishop, said: “The appetite is to improve the general ambience of the street and to market Wellingborough Road as a destination for businesses to come.

“At this stage we have done some lobbying and the feedback is very positive - people are saying ‘it’s about time we got this sorted’.”

The steering group for the ‘Welly Road’ BID is set to hold a public exhibition on July 17 and hold the ballot in early October. Details for both will be confirmed at a later date.

The money could be used to improve the appearance of vacant businesses, invest in better broadband for the area and levy extra investment on Wellingborough Road.

Businesses would be required to pay in up to two per cent of the rateable value of their premises, which would bring around £375,000 over a five year period into the pot.

“Some of the objectives of this are universal,” Mr Bishop said. “If I am inviting businesses to my road and it looks fresh and inviting, clearly that’s going to have positive effects on my company.”

Leader of the borough council, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm), said: “Wellingborough Road is an important shopping and leisure area in Northampton, filled with quality, independent shops, businesses, restaurants and bars.

“If Wellingborough Road businesses decide to become part of a BID, then this will enable them to be involved in the decision making process that improves their surrounding areas and the regeneration of the town.

“It will also give businesses the opportunity to work together, reduce the number of vacant units and enhance the shopping experience for visitors.”

The draft BID plan is available to view on the website