Winchester businesses have given a resounding yes to another five years of the city Business Improvement District.

The results, announced at 12.30pm today revealed an overall result of 72 per cent in favour by number of businesses, 83.5 per cent by rateable value. The turnout was 44 per cent. The postal ballot was coordinated by Winchester City Council.

The vote means businesses will pay an extra 1.5 per cent on their non-domestic rates for the next five years.

The money, collected through Winchester City Council, is given back to the BID to invest in street management, community safety and marketing projects.

Chris Turner, chief executive, said: “This is a good outcome for the city.  The work that the BID has done over the past five years has meant that Winchester is trading successfully, is safer, more attractive, cleaner and greener than it would otherwise be.

“Our waste, utility and crime schemes have proven to be successful and cost saving and BID members have recognised this by voting for a further five years.  We are grateful to our members for this support and we will continue to improve our services and ensure that Winchester continues to trade with even greater success.  We do recognise that there is a pressure on small businesses at the moment and we shall absolutely make sure that we will continue to provide excellent value for money.”

Jeremy France, chairman of Winchester BID, said he was delighted that businesses have backed the BID.

“This is excellent news; not just for Winchester Businesses, but for the city as a whole. The money raised by the BID levy will be re-invested back into the city towards projects such as chewing gum cleaning, graffiti removal, marketing campaigns, sponsorship of three Police Community Support Officers and more hanging baskets. It is essential for all of the Businesses in the BID to let us know what they need and want for the next five years.”

Now the BID has been given the go ahead, businesses will receive the next BID levy on March 1 2013.