BID for Giffnock

GIFFNOCK companies may benefit as new plans are announced for a second Business Improvement District (BID).

The first BID, in Clarkston town centre, was established in June 2010 and became the tenth scheme of its kind in Scotland.

The aim of the organisation — which in Clarkston is made up of 132 businesses — is to create investment and tackle problems identified by local business owners, with the aim of increasing visitor and customer numbers to the area.

The suggestion of a Giffnock BID follows the launch of East Renfrewshire council’s A Place to Grow campaign — aimed at promoting the area for residents and businesses — as well as new companies moving in, including the country’s first Whole Foods store in autumn last year.

Chairing the steering group is Paul Reynolds, owner of shop branches in Clarkston and Giffnock, who will present a detailed plan of costs and area boundaries for a vote in 2013.

The business man commented that his experience with the Clarkston initiative had left him “very keen” to be involved in the Giffnock BID.

East Ren council has stressed that the nationwide programme is not a replacement for government authorities, but allows a partnership between the council and its business community, to benefit the local economy.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, convenor for economic development, explained: “A BID is not a substitute for central or local government service, but is a way of raising additional funding which businesses then decide how to use”.

Vincent Waters, president of the ER chamber of commerce, added: “By giving local companies a unified voice, a BID can provide an arena for businesses and local authorities to increase their understanding of each other’s priorities”.

For now, full details of the Giffnock BID are to be decided — through consultation — by Mr Reynolds’ steering group.

The final plan will then be put to a vote involving all eligible businesses in the decided Giffnock boundaries, pencilled in for early next year.