Lanark BID would be ‘disaster’ according to councillor

Lanark High Street'5/11/13
Lanark High Street'5/11/13

WARNINGS have been issued that trying to repeat a Carluke town centre recovery plan in Lanark would end in disaster.

Controversy has been raging in Carluke over the BIDS scheme introduced there recently.

The idea behind BIDS - Business Improvement District Scheme - is that all the shops and businesses in a town centre agree to pay into a central `pot’ to pay for improvements to the area and to organise bids for national funding to boost the local economy.

However, when charity shops and the town foodbank had BIDS membership bills slapped on them, the scheme came under fire.

During a recent meeting at Lanark Memorial Hall to discuss a future strategy to boost Lanark town centre’s fortunes, a consultant suggested that, at some time in the future, Lanark should follow Carluke by having itself designated a BIDS area.

This week Lanark’s Independent Councillor Ed Archer told the Gazette he felt such a move would cause more harm than good.

“In fact, it would be an absolute disaster for Lanark to go down the BIDS road.

“There would be an outcry if our charity shops started getting bills to take part, as they have in Carluke.

“There are better ways to organise grant applications for the town rather than set up a BIDS scheme. I understand that there are bodies, such as the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce, who organise much the same things for free.”