City of Fremantle approves changes to Business Improvement District funding model

Fremantle BID chair and owner of The National Hotel Karl Bullers. Picture: Supplied
Fremantle BID chair and owner of The National Hotel Karl Bullers. Picture: Supplied

THE City of Fremantle will shift to a new destination marketing model, moving money previously used to fund the Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID).

Promoting Fremantle as a destination to shop, BID had previously been funded through rates levied on commercial properties in the Fremantle CBD.

Under the new model the City will utilise existing destination marketing budget and the City Centre Differential Rate for the purpose of destination marketing.

A market advisory group would also run for four years.

As part of the consultation Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Tourism Association, Fremantle Markets and Sirona Capital have all supported the change.

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A survey of businesses listed 67.4 per cent supported the idea and 34.4 per cent supported how the City of Fremantle used the city centre differential rate to fund Fremantle BID.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Tourism Association, Fremantle Markets and Sirona Capital have all supported the change.

A Fremantle BID survey of 148 business found they would prefer the differential rate rather than Fremantle council to assist with marketing.

Mayor Brad Pettitt submitted two amendments to the proposal to include to have a current board member of Fremantle BID up until the October 2019 election, and to allocate $50,000 funding to ensure popular events such as the Long Table Dinner could go ahead.

Councillor Andrew Sullivansaid during debate he hoped businesses involved in BID maintained what they had but in a different form.

Fremantle BID chair Karl Bullerssaid the board was disappointed by the outcome.

“We will try and work with the process though and ensure members’ needs are looked after,” he said.

“We hope to be able to negotiate a better outcome for BID members, but in its current form, the amendments do not go far enough to allow BID to continue.

“We hope to see the BID continue in some form, but that will depend if we can negotiate some interim funding and the appetite from members for a fee paying BID

“We are proud of what the BID has achieved in recent years and the outpouring of support from local businesses has been heartening.”

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