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Dornoch businesses invited to open days to discuss Business Improvement District initiative

By Caroline McMorran

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The group behind a move to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) in Dornoch is to hold a series of open days, with the first event set to take place tomorrow.

The Dornoch Business Improvement steering group is inviting businesses in the IV25 postcode to attend the open days and give their thoughts and feedback on the initiative.

BID coordinator Paula White and steering group chairman Neil Hampton.
BID coordinator Paula White and steering group chairman Neil Hampton.

There are thought to be around 200 eligible firms in the postcode area, ranging from tourist-orientated enterprises to shops, garages and legal firms.

A Business Improvement District is a defined area within which businesses are asked to invest collectively to help fund projects and make improvements which will benefit the local community.

BIDs are developed, managed and paid for by the businesses involved, by means of a compulsory, annual BID levy, usually based on rateable value.

More than 40 BIDs are currently in operation or development across Scotland, from Lerwick to Largs.

The first significant step towards a Dornoch BID was made in November with the appointment of Paula White as BID coordinator.

She said: “At the open days, we will explain all about the BID, what it does and the networking opportunities it would offer.

“Those attending will learn what the benefits can be for individual businesses and, crucially, we will be seeking feedback on what it is that businesses themselves would like to see.”

A business plan will be formed using the feedback received.

Businesses within the BID area must vote in its favour before it can be established and a vote has been scheduled to take place at the end of September.

“If we get the green light, a community interest company will be created to carry out the approved plans,” said Ms White.

A 90-minute open event will take place from 10am tomorrow at Grannie’s Heilan’ Hame Holiday Park, Embo; at Skibo Castle from 7pm on Wednesday, February 1; and at the Burghfield House UHI, Dornoch, from 7pm on Monday, February 13.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to let Ms White know by emailing: bid@dornochhub.co.uk

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