Landlords have welcomed new government proposals that will allow them to have a greater role in the revitalisation of high streets.
The plans, announced yesterday (July 23) by local growth minister Mark Prisk, will allow property owners to formally contribute money to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and have a direct say in the regeneration of local trading areas.
Prisk also announced a £500,000 loan kitty to help fund more BIDs, which were a key recommendation of the Portas Review, and a change to existing regulation to ensure they can be set up in business areas rather than being restricted by administrative boundaries.
Prisk said: “We’ve also seen how, again and again, a Business Improvement District can make a real difference, bringing the key players together to make the high street an attractive and pleasant place to visit.
“That’s why I’m announcing plans that would bring landlords into the mix, so that everyone with a stake in our high streets has a chance to participate.”
There are currently 150 BIDs in the UK but, under current rules, property owners can only make voluntary contributions and have no right to vote on proposals.
Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said: “This consultation is very welcome in a workable system that allows landlords to vote on, and if successful, pay a levy towards the improvement of their areas.
“There has always been strong support across the sector for the more formal inclusion of landlords in BIDs. It is often landlords who will have the long-term interest in improving places and therefore it is something of an anomaly that there wasn’t provision for the formal inclusion of landlords in the original legislation.“