CAMPAIGNERS hoping to deliver a ‘yes’ vote for a city-centre business initiative have cleaned up a rubbish-strewn alleyway.

A team of local business leaders hope to create a business improvement district (BID) in central Bradford, where a new levy on business rates would be pooled to pay for various trade-boosting ideas.

The idea could be worth £2.5m over five years, but needs to win a local referendum before it can begin.

Now consultants Heartflood, which have been brought on board to help deliver a ‘yes’ vote, have paid for flytipping to be cleared from an alleyway to demonstrate the kind of work a BID might do.

The alleyway, off Sunbridge Road,e is currently unadopted, meaning that it does not fall within the Council’s street cleansing regime.

Organisers said it was an example of how a BID could provide extra services to improve the cleanliness of the city centre.

Chris Gregory, of Heartflood, said: “When we were carrying out our research for the BID project we noticed an alleyway which was crying out for a makeover and part of our proposal was that we would clear the area at our cost to demonstrate our commitment to city centre improvements.”

The Bradford BID development team is being chaired by Ian Ward, general manager of The Broadway.

He said: “The Bradford BID is fully committed to finding new and innovative ways for businesses in the city to flourish.

“Through the clearance of this alleyway, which was otherwise neglected and a blight on the city centre, we’ve shown just one example of the work we can do together to improve the city centre.”

There are currently more than 270 business improvement districts in the UK, including one set up in Keighley around 18 months ago.

If an early feasibility study suggests the BID idea is proving popular in Bradford, a vote could be held in autumn 2018.

The size of Bradford’s levy is yet to be decided but they are usually at around one per cent of business rates.

To set up a BID, organisers must win a referendum among businesses in the area where the levy would be charged.

Those ‘yes’ votes must also correspond to more than 50 per cent of the total rateable value of all votes cast. A BID lasts for up to five years and to continue it after that time, organisers have to hold another ballot.