Darlington BID, the Business Improvement District for Darlington town centre, has narrowly lost its bid to be renewed, following a vote.
The future of Darlington BID was determined by local businesses. They could vote either “yes” or “no” to the mandate being extended for a further five-year term.
Out of the 213 votes cast, a total of 126 businesses voted in favour, with 127 voting against.
Since Darlington BID was formed in 2012, they have been responsible for the annual Distinctly Delicious Festivals of Food, Darlington Fashion Weeks and the Classic Car Show.
Speaking about the result, Peter Bulmer, chair of the board of Darlington BID, said: “This is a very disappointing result indeed, not just for Darlington BID, but for traders, residents and visitors alike as the town centre has now lost guaranteed investment.
“High streets around the country are facing very tough times and that’s why we need to do whatever we can to make town and city centres more attractive and create events and incentives to boost our local economy.”
He continued: “The fact that Darlington will be one of the few places in the North East not to have a BID will leave us very vulnerable from the neighbouring retail competition.
“It’s such a shame that events like the food festival, the fashion show, the classic car show and the town’s Christmas lights will now not take place, not to mention the blow to the economy by the loss of initiatives like The Little Book of Offers.
“It is a very sad day which I feel will have real repercussions for the town centre.”
This story is developing…
Source: Star Radio