Donna’s Main Street plan’s sim­ply the biz

Pro­pelling town to the next level

Ayrshire Post - - NEWS - Stu­art Wil­son

She’s the woman charged with tak­ing Prest­wick’s bustling Main Street to the next level.

And driven Donna Read reck­ons the road to im­prove­ment is just get­ting started for a town on the up.

Donna, project man­ager for the newly- formed Pro­pel Prest­wick, will bid to con­vince busi­nesses her vi­sion is the right one.

If suc­cess­ful, the town will be­come an of­fi­cial Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Dis­trict ( BID) – and gain all the ben­e­fits that come with it.

Donna, a small busi­ness owner who has made her name across South Ayr­shire, said: “The aim is to have Prest­wick thriv­ing and ev­ery­one pulling in the same di­rec­tion.

“We’re try­ing to be­come an of­fi­cial BID dis­trict and in or­der to do that, I need to se­cure a ‘ yes’ vote from busi­nesses in the town.

“That in­volves ev­ery­one pay­ing some­thing like an ex­tra two per cent of their rate­able value each year into a big pot.

“In turn, all busi­nesses will ben­e­fit and help to se­cure a healthy fu­ture for the town.”

With its boom­ing night econ­omy al­ready putting Prest­wick on the map, there is a ready ad­mis­sion that com­pla­cency could be the big­gest ob­sta­cle.

A 12- month con­sul­ta­tion with the town’s busi­nesses will now take place and, if a yes vote is se­cured, the pro­duc­tion of a five- year busi­ness plan is next on the agenda.

Donna said: “The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment have put for­ward £ 20,000 and South Ayr­shire Coun­cil an­other £ 10,000 to get us to this point.

“Now we have to con­vince the town that this is in their best in­ter­ests to sup­port it longer term.

“Largs is the near­est ex­am­ple of a BID dis­trict and they’ve done won­der­ful things with it.

“Our aim would be to ex­pand the way we mar­ket Prest­wick, per­haps to dif­fer­ent au­di­ences such as the day­time shop­pers.

“We would be­come the first BID within South Ayr­shire, so it’s a very ex­cit­ing time if we can make it hap­pen.”

Iain For­rest, chair of the Pro­pel Prest­wick steer­ing group, said: “Donna’s ex­per­tise and knowl­edge of the com­mu­nity made her an ob­vi­ous fit for the role.

“What we have now is a great op­por­tu­nity to bring ev­ery­one to­gether and cre­ate a fund that will ben­e­fit all busi­nesses.”

Plan Donna has tar­gets for Prest­wick

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