THE launch of a BID will give businesses an unprecedented say in the future of Bradford city centre, say campaigners.

Sandy Needham, chief executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce, said that as well as funding and driving improvements, the BID would provide a clear, united voice with which to stand up for central Bradford.

“For the first time, city centre business will have a distinct voice at the table when it comes to working with local and national government and others,” said Ms Needham, who is also joint deputy chair of the BID’s shadow board.

The BID would be a real coming together of those with a vested interest in the fortunes of the city centre.

“All of those in the BID area have a stake in its future and they will be putting their money where their mouth is by funding the projects we undertake, so it’s only right that they have their say when it comes to changes in its infrastructure, security, promotion and so on,” she said.

BIDs are able to provide extra services over and above those provided by councils but they can also enter into legal agreements with local authorities and other public sector bodies to ensure that they continue to provide core services.

“The BID will enable us to deliver activity in addition to that which Bradford Council can provide but we can also hold the council to account to make sure standards are met,” said Ms Needham.

“At the same time, the council will benefit from being able to discuss changes and improvements with a body that can accurately reflect the wide range of views held by those who live, work and make a living in the heart of our fabulous city.”