BASINGSTOKE’S Business Improvement District will attempt to revive itself later this year after firms in the town voted against renewing its contract.

Basingstoke Together was set up in 2015 and collected a compulsory levy for the majority of businesses in the town and used the funds for promotional purposes.

However, it was unsuccessful in its re-ballot in February with sources claiming problems with the postal votes caused delays.

Now The Gazette understands that Jane Stewart, of Basingstoke Together, will attempt to relaunch the BID in the autumn.

She told this newspaper it was something “they are thinking about”.

Ms Stewart said: “The directors and a small group of independent businesses are thinking about putting together another BID.”

Pictured: Jane Stewart, chief executive of Basingstoke Together

Pictured: Jane Stewart, chief executive of Basingstoke Together

However, she did not elaborate further and said she was focused on the remaining days of the current tenure, which expires on Wednesday, March 31.

As previously reported, 52 per cent of businesses were in favour of scrapping the scheme in February. Forty-eight per cent was in favour of keeping it.

The ballot was confidential, and each vote is weighted different, depending on the business’s rateable value.

The Basingstoke Together BID board is made up of 14 volunteers with close ties to the area including: Matthew Cleaver (The Anvil), Cllr Rebecca Bean (Cabinet member for development and improvement), Neil Churchill (Festival Place), James Starbuck (Basingstoke Sports Trust), Carol Freeman (The Royal Exchange and Harry’s Bar), Richard Garfield (Phillips Solicitors), Joanne Goodman (Wax Works English Rose), Sue Harris (The Malls), Laurence Martin (Black Swan Training), Melanie Roberts (Lamb Brooks Solicitors), Alan Stone (Squirrels Antiques), George-Scott Welsh (Incuhive), Richard Henley (Primary) and Barry Smith (Greenhouse Graphics).

Over the past six years, among other things, the BID has spent money on Christmas lights in the Market Place and promotional marketing for the Top of Town area.

The money was also used to fund street rangers to help patrol Basingstoke. According to its website, the rangers ceased patrolling on Saturday.

Basingstoke Together worked closely with the council to enable the town to be made safe when shops were able to reopen after the first lockdown in July.

Last month, Basingstoke Together said that the results showed that "over 55 per cent of town centre businesses voted for the BID to continue supporting businesses in the town", but "the rateable value of the votes cast in favour was not sufficient".

Neil Churchill, chair of Basingstoke Together, said at the time: "The Board of Directors would like to thank all those businesses that voted in the re-ballot.

"Unfortunately, the ballot was conducted under extremely difficult conditions in a tier 5 lockdown.

"The result is disappointing and because of the circumstances under which the ballot was held, the Directors of Basingstoke Together are seeking clarity from British BIDs on possible next steps."

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council had pledged its support to the BID as recently as December, and council leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan said he felt for the team.

A Business Improvement District is managed by a Business Improvement District body. This is often a private company but can be a partnership with the local authority. Most Business Improvement District bodies are not-for-profit companies.

The BID body is responsible for developing and implementing the proposal which sets out how the Business Improvement District will operate.