Proposed business district in Hemel Hempstead could bring in extra £900k

The Marlowes would be included in the new business area in Hemel
The Marlowes would be included in the new business area in Hemel

Businesses have joined together to launch plans to open a special district in Hemel Hempstead town centre to help companies thrive.

A steering group has been working for the last 18 months on plans to create a Business Improvement District (BID), which would stretch from Combe Street down to the Riverside Shopping Centre.

Members of the group behind the proposed launch say such an area could help bring in an extra £900,000 in funding over the next five years.

A BID is a commercial area in which companies are charged a levy in return for extra services which enhance and promote the area.

There are already more than 270 BIDs in the UK, and there are hopes that Hemel could be the latest one.

The steering group which has been working on the BID includes businesses such as Toni & Guy, Debenhams, Tiki’s Cafe, Saunders Markets and the two shopping centres - Marlowes and Riverside. It also has a representative from Dacorum Borough Council.

A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot on a business plan.

Vince Williams is the manager of Marlowes Shopping Centre, and also the chairman of the BID steering group.

He said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the business community of Hemel to take control of the direction in which our town centre will go in the next five years.

“These projects, all based on the wants of businesses in the area, will be delivered by a professional team, under the oversight of a board that can provide strategic direction towards our joint vision.

“And that is providing a modern experience for customers that combines shopping with leisure, helping to increase both footfall and spend.”

If given the go-ahead in the ballot, which runs until October 27, the BID would commence on February 1 next year and run for the next five years until January 2023.