A FLEDGLING business improvement plan for Hereford has been backed by project leaders in a neighbouring city.

A decision to launch a Hereford BID (Business Improvement District), set to bring £1.5 million of investment to the city centre, was last week backed by a majority of businesses in the area.

It is hoped the backing will allow the BID to "improve the Hereford experience and enhance business performance" with aims including increasing footfall and making it easier to park.

John Jones, leader of the Hereford BID, said it represents a "bright future" for the city, a view echoed in the past week by his Worcester counterpart.

"BIDs provide a mechanism for businesses to be heard and influence the perceptions of an area and the projects which are important to them like never before," said Adrian Field, the leader of Worcester BID.

"They also provide great opportunities to work together to increase their purchasing power and negotiate on deals for a wide variety of projects as we have found in Worcester.

"We would support the Hereford BID should they seek our advice as we did when the idea for a BID in Hereford was first mooted and a delegation visited us a few years ago.

"However, given the strong result it appears clear that the steering group know what they are doing.

"I would suggest to any BID that there is a need to hit the ground running and get some very visible projects up and running quickly."

Of the 224 businesses voting in the Hereford BID ballot, 172 voted in favour.

The money will come from each of the 481 businesses entitled to vote paying a 1.2 per cent levy on the rateable value of their company.

Mr Jones has said Hereford BID will formally launch in April with projects in the pipeline such as better signage and lots of marketing and promotion to draw in new customers.

For more information visit herefordbid.co.uk