NEWS RELEASE 12 March 2014
TAUNTON TOWN CENTRE COMPANY LIMITED
The Board of Directors of the Taunton Town Centre Company has today decided that, following the result of the recent BID ballot, the Company has no viable option but to cease trading with immediate effect.
The ballot rejected by a narrow margin the Company’s proposal for a Business Improvement District (BID). The Board respects this decision, which follows the rejection of an earlier BID proposal in 2012. This result leaves the Company with inadequate funding to operate effectively on behalf of the businesses of Taunton . The Board has taken this decision with great regret. The Company has been proud to work for the benefit of Taunton ’s businesses since it was established in 2006, and before that as a Partnership.
The Board is deeply grateful for the support and co-operation it has received businesses and organisations in Taunton , notably its Members. The Board has been in touch with its Members separately. The Town Centre Company Chairman Guy Bottard said: “I have been a director of this company since its creation in 2006 and this is a very sad day for the directors and staff of the company, the employed staff in particular. My heartfelt thanks go to them all for all their hard work over the years. The demise of the Town Centre Company and the loss of the town centre management expertise built up within it will be missed by the businesses in the town. However being an eternal optimist I believe that when one door closes another always opens and that we should regard this as a new beginning. I am confident that given time somebody or some people will fill the void that is left behind by TTCC and they will continue to find ways of promoting Taunton throughout Somerset and beyond in order to attract business into our town
Plans to boost trade in Taunton during the next five years faced a setback this week as businesses reject proposals to invest up to £1.3m to improve prospects for trade in the county town.
The five year plan for recovery and improvement was put to the vote last month in a ballot of 500 businesses trading across Taunton but the results were not enough to secure the plans proposed by Taunton Town Centre Company on behalf of the business community.
The vote is based not only on numbers but on rateable values with the result missing narrowly on both counts. 48% of votes cast in the postal ballot were in favour representing just 46% of rateable value among the votes meaning that the proposals for a five year Business Improvement District for Taunton have been rejected.
An attempt to renew BID proposals 18 months ago similarly failed to win the vote in another very close ballot, despite the majority of businesses voting in favour at that time.
Taunton Town Centre Company put forward the most recent proposals during 2013 following extensive consultation with businesses, seeking a new focus for trade in the county town.
with its business membership and the wider business community Taunton Town Centre Company learned that firms face a
tough challenge in the next five years to counter the national trend of
declining footfall, shrinking demand for retail floor-space and increased
competition online. Many of the town’s national retail businesses put their
support behind the new scheme including high street stalwart Boots the
“Through participation with local firms, Boots and other business members of the Town Centre Company put together a robust and comprehensive plan to focus on building footfall, reducing business costs and lobbying for improvements within the county town,” said Adam Carbis, Manager at Boots.
“We all faced a difficult decision last month on whether to divert our scarce resources into new activities through the BID.” he said.
Speaking about the future plans of the Taunton Town Centre Company, Chairman Guy Bottard was confident that the role of town centre management would continue. “The Company has gone through big changes in the last 18 months and is controlled by its business members. We will discuss our future plans with the company members in light of this week’s ballot decision in order to take the Company forward.
“We all want the best for Taunton and will of course continue to work with town centre businesses, the private sector and local authorities to bring forward projects which protect and enhance the vibrancy and viability of the county town.”
Taunton Footfall - January 2014 - Springboard National High St Index can be viewed here
Springboard HSI Weekly change can be viewed here
Taunton Town Centre Company has a new Chairman.
Guy Bottard has been appointed from within the company board which is made up of unpaid directors, giving their time free of charge. Directors are appointed to the company board by a vote among the company membership and are joined by one further director nominated from within Taunton Deane Borough Council. Guy succeeds fellow director, Francis Cornish, who remains on the board to take up the new office of Vice Chairman. Read more in 'About Us' sectionTOWN CENTRE COMPANY APPOINTS NEW BOARD
Taunton Town Centre Company Ltd has appointed a new board of directors.
The appointments were made by election at a General Meeting of the company held at the Library Meeting Room in Taunton last night (Tuesday 9 April 2013).
The company Directors (in alphabetical order by surname) appointed by the Membership are;
- Tim Ackland (Mr Miles)
- Guy Bottard (Future Law)
- Duncan Brown (Greenslade Taylor Hunt)
- Adam Carbis (Boots the Chemist)
- Francis Cornish (Independent)
- Brian Haimes (Scotsgrove Holdings)
- Nick Hancock (Albert Goodman)
- Phil Harding (Blackcat Records)
- Pat Mayhew (The Stitch Academy)
- Simon Willets (Combers)
This is the first time the company board has been elected by its members and it therefore has a new legitimacy. The election is part of a wider strategy to make the company more relevant to the traders of Taunton.
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