Coun­cil to fo­cus on Hast­ings city vi­brancy

Hastings Leader - - News -

As part of its com­mit­ment to cre­at­ing a vi­brant Hast­ings CBD, Hast­ings District Coun­cil (HDC) is about to seek the views of tar­geted in­ner city busi­ness and prop­erty own­ers on whether they would like to de­velop a new frame­work for mar­ket­ing pro­mo­tions 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 this and ad­di­tional spon­sor­ship, Hast­ings City Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion stages events and pro­mo­tional cam­paigns on be­half of CBD busi­nesses and re­tail­ers.

This rate is rou­tinely re­viewed, and this year the coun­cil and Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion iden­ti­fied a po­ten­tial new model to pro­mote vi­brancy called a Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District (BID). Used by other coun­cils around the coun­try, BIDs are part­ner­ships be­tween coun­cils and the busi­ness com­mu­nity with 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 sup­port coun­cil ex­plor­ing a BID frame­work to de­liver vi­brancy to the CBD. Hast­ings City Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion act­ing chair Wayne Wal­ford says the 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.”

HDC com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee deputy chair­man Da­mon Har­vey says 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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