A BALLOT to consider the future of a business improvement group which has been hailed for its efforts in Llanelli is being backed by Carmarthneshire Council.
The authority’s executive board agreed a series of recommendations which could result in the business improvement district – Ymlaen Llanelli – continuing for a second five-year term.
Council leader Emlyn Dole, who is on the board of Ymlaen Llanelli, declared an interest at the meeting but spoke about it having arranged an annual calendar of events to boost footfall, introduced parking concessions, developed branded products, and campaigned for a dedicated town centre police presence to tackle anti-social behaviour.
“That has worked really well and I am so grateful for the cooperation of police,” he said.
Businesses in the town, he said, had really bought into it.
If businesses vote in favour of another five-year term, there will be a 1.25% levy on the the rateable value of commercial properties within the business improvement district area.
This is expected to generate just over £456,000, which would be reinvested in town centre projects and services.
The council will manage the ballot at no cost to Ymlaen Llanelli.
A report before the executive board said several events arranged by the business support group had been attended by more than 25,000 people.
The report included comments from business owners in the town, including Alun Rees, of Cadno Music, who said: “I was very cynical about the BID (business improvement district) but it has proved to be a great success and has achieved many good things.
“Ymlaen Llanelli has put on events that other towns could only dream of.”
A Marzano’s Café Bar spokesman said: “We’ve been able to bring our mobile trailer along to the amazing events which has opened up a whole new avenue of income for us. Losing the calendar of events would be a disaster for town.”
And Christine and David Evans, of The Thomas Arms, said: “We could not imagine now not being involved in the scheme. We are especially busy during the 80s festival with over 500 guests joining us for food and drinks and buying tickets for our evening event which has increased in footfall every year.”
Ymlaen Llanelli currently has around 270 members.
Chairwoman Lesley Richards said its calendar of events had been impacted by the coronavirus crisis, but that it had supported members when the restrictions lifted last summer.
She said she was hopeful that businesses would back another five-year term.
“At the end of the day it’s what the town needs,” she said.