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Focus on Hastings city vibrancy

As part of its commitment to creating a vibrant Hastings CBD, the Hastings District Council is about to seek the views of targeted inner city business and property owners on whether or not they would like to develop a new framework to deliver marketing promotion initiatives on their behalf.

Since 1994 the council has collected a targeted rate from landowners within six blocks of the city centre, totalling about $280,000 a year.

With these funds and some additional sponsorship, the Hastings City Business Association stages events and conducts promotional campaigns on behalf of, and for, the benefit of businesses and retailers in the CBD.

This rate is routinely reviewed, and this year the council together with the Business Association identified a potential new model to promote vibrancy – called a Business Improvement District (BID).

Used by some other councils around the country, BIDs are partnerships between councils and the business community that have clear objectives and performance measures to meet.

They aim to make business districts more attractive places to do business and to promote this to shoppers, service users, businesses and investors.

All property owners, as well as business and retail tenants, within the six blocks of the city centre encompassing St Aubyn, Nelson, Southampton and Hastings Streets, are being asked whether they would or would not support council exploring a BID framework to deliver vibrancy to the CBD.

Hastings City Business Association acting chair Wayne Walford said the upcoming consultation was a chance for business and property owners to have their say.

“It’s potentially a step forward into the future to increase the vibrancy of the city centre, but it’s important that everyone lets us know what they think would work for them.”

Hastings District Council community development committee deputy chairman Damon Harvey said that while the marketing rate and how it was used may have been relevant when it was established in 1994, it was now timely to review whether it was fit for purpose.

“Since that time Hastings’ inner city has changed dramatically and with exciting new developments set to take place it’s an ideal time to review the best approach to promote the Hastings CBD and ensure it’s a vibrant, versatile environment for all businesses that operate there.”

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