Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, Destination CQ, has received an impressive vote of confidence with members voting for it to continue operating for a further five years and implementing its new business plan.
All business improvement districts across the UK are required to poll their members every five years if they are to continue to operate.
When the votes were counted it emerged that 86% had voted Yes. CQ BID Manager Damien Corr said that “the team are delighted and humbled that businesses have voted Yes so emphatically”.
He added: “This gives us a fantastic mandate to deliver the Business Plan over the next five years.
“Our Directors and staff are keen to get started in the delivery of the plan. There are green shoots of recovery emerging but much remains to be done. We hear your concerns about the physical infrastructure of the area and we are already working on this.
“We will monitor and evaluate the Business Plan as we go to ensure that it remains relevant to your business needs in a rapidly changing landscape. We rely on and very much welcome your input and feedback and we will make good on our commitment for better communication and engagement.”
However, Mr Corr also acknowledged not all members engaged with the ballot..
He explained: “We appreciate that not everyone voted yes and we very much welcome the opportunity to better engage with this cohort to outline the benefits that have accrued to date and to explore how we can make the BID more relevant to them.
“We planned for a Yes vote, so there will be no break in service delivery. It’s onward and upwards from here on.”
Chair of Destination CQ, Paul McErlean welcomed the vote of confidence from the businesses and organisations throughout Cathedral Quarter.
He said: “The yes vote is a welcome validation of the hard work and dedication of my fellow Directors and Staff over the last five years.
“This entire BID team has put considerable time and effort into making our area the best place in the City in which to do business and to socialise.”
Mr McErlean also issued an invitation to any business owner who thinks that they can make a difference in the area to come and join the Board of Directors.
Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl also welcomed the yes vote.
She said: “Belfast Improvement Districts play an important role in supporting businesses and encouraging a sense of cohesion and shared ownership in the city’s success.
“As we continue on our Covid recovery journey, the work of BIDs is more important than ever in helping businesses to navigate whatever challenges may lie ahead.
“I congratulate Destination CQ on securing such a ringing endorsement from our business community, and wish them every success as they embark on the next five years.”
To find out more about the work of Destination CQ BID and read the five year business plan, go to cathedralquarterbelfast.com