Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Primark are amongst those urging fellow traders to vote ‘Yes’ in this month’s ballot to create a Business Improvement District in Chester city centre.
With voting papers landing on the mats of 509 businesses within Chester’s proposed BID area this week, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Primark, together with The Grosvenor Shopping Centre and The Chester Grosvenor hotel are some of the leading brands backing the proposals from CH1ChesterBID – the team driving the campaign.

Senior store manager at the Chester branch of Debenhams, Kari Rodgers, said: “The BID will generate £2.5million for all the improvements that we, as Chester businesses, have been calling for.

“It is our duty to vote ‘Yes’ and make it happen.”

To get the green light, the ballot requires a ‘Yes’ vote from at least 51% of all those who vote. In addition, ‘Yes’ voters must represent at least 51% of thetotal rateable value of all the businesses who vote.

Many of Chester’s small independents, along with hospitality businesses such as hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés are also being asked to back the plans.

Jonathan Slater, managing director of The Chester Grosvenor, said: “Increasing the footfall in the city and encouraging the leisure market to visit is just as vital for the hospitality businesses as for the retailers.

“No matter the size or nature of your business, voting ‘Yes’ to the BID is voting for improved marketing of our city, larger events to attract a wider audience, increased visitor numbers and a more secure and profitable future, not just for the city centre but for Chester as a whole.”

Businesses within the BID area will be voting on the plans throughout June and the result will be announced in early July.If the plans get the go-ahead, around £2.5m of private sector investment would be created over the next five years and reinvested back into Chester city centre.

BID area businesses are being encouraged to come down to Chester Town Hall Square on Friday 6 June to cast their vote and take part in a photo call at 11.30am. Voters are invited to wear branded clothing and bring along bags and other promotional items to increase awareness of their businesses.

For more information about CH1ChesterBID, visit