Councillors to discuss renewal of Langthwaite Business Improvement District scheme

​Date: 10/02/2016
Ref: PR 6172

Councillors are to discuss renewing a business scheme which has brought hundreds of jobs to the south east of the Wakefield district.

Members of Wakefield Council's Regeneration and Economic Growth Overview and Scrutiny Committee will discuss continuing the Langthwaite Business Improvement District (BID) status when they meet on February 16.

The BID, which was introduced five years ago, has brought in £1million of extra funding to enable Langthwaite Business Park to turn around its fortunes when crime and anti-social behaviour threatened the future of the park.

Since the BID was introduced new investment has come in, companies have expanded and new businesses have moved in.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills at Wakefield Council, said: "We have seen the positive employment and economic benefits the BID has brought to the south east of Wakefield over the last five years.

"It has encouraged existing businesses to expand and attracted many new enterprises to the park; 700 more jobs and 40 more businesses.

"The BID has and is contributing to our long term plans to regenerate the district."

Since 2011, the number of new businesses has grown from 80 to 120, and the number of jobs has expanded from 700 to 1,400.

The report also shows that crime levels at the park have fallen significantly, from 300 incidents a year before the BID, to ten a year since it was introduced. The park is reported by police and security experts to be the safest business or industrial park in West Yorkshire.

The BID model sees companies directly decide and pay for improvements to the business park, which are approved in a ballot by organisations on the site. This has led to improvements in the environment and increased security for businesses and their workforces.

Councillors are being recommended to support renewal of the bid.