Dorking is suffering from competition from similar nearby towns, some of which already have BIDs (Guildford, Wimbledon, Oxted, Kingston, Brighton) or are considering them (Epsom, Richmond). The changing nature of retail means that customers are buying online, often without even venturing into a town centre. Dorking is also affected by the length of the high street, leading to a fractured retail and commercial offer and a lack of business connectivity.
There is a need to improve the management of the town centre, to boost its present potential, including investigating latent and as yet untapped tourist opportunities, and safeguard its future. We need to create a well maintained and promoted commercial area with the quality standards of a private shopping centre.
However, Dorking is also placed within a beautiful countryside setting, with a number of excellent opportunities on its doorstep. A BID could give the business community a chance to make full use of these surroundings and events and put businesses in the driving seat to make sure your priorities are being met.
If businesses support the idea of a BID through the consultation, the team will develop a full Business Plan with support from the business-led steering group, and a formal business ballot will be carried out in 2017.
Unlike business rates, which are collected by Mole Valley District Council but in the main passed on to central government and redistributed nationally, every penny collected via the Dorking BID levy would be invested back into the town.Download the Dorking Bid Summary Document - in PDF format >