WINCHESTER businesses have voted to keep the city’s Business Improvement District (BID) for another five years.

The ballot, which is held towards the end of each five-year term, revealed that 77.3% of businesses who voted were in favour of keeping the organisation, with a turnout of just over 40%.

In order for Winchester BID to receive a third term, more than half the business who voted needed to be in favour of the proposal and command a larger share of business rates than any objectors. 86.7% voted in favour by business rate value.

Catherine Turness, executive director of Winchester BID, said: “Feedback from BID members has determined our mandate and it is heartening that they have voted to support a vision for a further five years.

“With both the Central Winchester Regeneration (Silver Hill 2) and Station Approach developments within the BID area, the BID board will continue to provide a strong, bold voice for business and to feedback members’ aspirations for the changing local landscape to secure a stronger future for the city.”

During the organisation’s last term, its work has included projects to better promote Winchester as a vibrant cultural destination, improve the public realm, develop intelligence partnerships to create a safer environment, and provide support and guidance for city centre businesses.

Until the third term officially begins on April 1, a spokesman said team are busy preparing the city for the festive season ahead, with many decorations already installed ready for the switch-on ceremony on November 16.

In the New Year, the BID board will review its governance structure to allow new members to join.

Over the last decade, Winchester businesses have invested £5 million pounds in the city through the payment of an annual levy to the BID.