Kilbirnie business booster scheme a step closer

27 November 2015

Kilbirnie's proposed business improvement district (BID) is a step closer following this week's meeting of Wellington City Council’s Economic Growth and Arts Committee.

View looking down at Kilbirnie Town Centre.

View looking down at Kilbirnie Town Centre

The committee voted unanimously to recommend that a targeted rate, capable of raising $80,000, be included in the Council’s 2016/17 draft annual plan. The rate would be levied against the commercially-rated properties in the Kilbirnie BID area.

The committee’s Chair, Cr Jo Coughlan, and the Council’s Small-Medium Enterprise Portfolio Leader, Cr Simon Marsh, both welcomed the decision.

“The BID has been strongly supported by local retailers and businesses who want the great potential of the Kilbirnie area to be realised,” says Cr Coughlan. “The initial $80,000 would provide seed funding for the Kilbirnie Business Network to get things going in the area.”

Cr Marsh, who is also a local ward Councillor and has worked closely with the Kilbirnie Business Network, says the proposed BID allows local businesses to work together and make collective decisions for the good of the area. “The BID also fits closely with the Council’s vision of Kilbirnie as one of the city’s principal suburban growth areas.

“Kilbirnie is the gateway to the eastern suburbs, it’s a public transport hub and there’s a lot of space for commercial expansion.”

This week’s recommendation is subject to approval by the Council’s Governance, Finance and Planning Committee – which oversees the annual planning process. It will also be subject to ratification at a formal meeting of the Kilbirnie Business Network.

Cr Coughlan says BIDs are growing in popularity across the city and around the country. “The Miramar and Khandallah BIDs are both working well – with strong support from local businesspeople. There are also plans for BIDs in Tawa and, possibly, Newtown.”

Cr Marsh adds that if local business communities wish to pursue a BID process then they should not hesitate to contact him.

The Council’s Business Relations Manager, Phil Becker, says 72 Kilbirnie commercial property owners and business owners (from a total of 209 eligible voters) participated in October in a poll on whether to establish the proposed BID. Of the 72 participants, 46 (64 percent) voted in favour and 26 against.