SOUTHAMPTON City Council has voted to back a scheme focused on developing and backing businesses for a further five years.

On July 19, cabinet members voted to support GO! Southampton's (the Business Improvement District - the BID) tenure for a further five-years from 2022 to 2027.

Businesses in the BID area will be invited to vote on their plan in October to November and determine whether the BID should continue to operate.

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area in which a levy is charged on eligible business rate payers.

This levy is used to develop projects that bring direct benefits to those businesses.

The scheme came into force in April 2017 after a successful ballot the previous November.

It was set up with the aim of maintaining and building on Southampton’s position, ensuring that businesses continue to thrive, and capitalising on the many new opportunities arising in this dynamic city.

The BID plan to invest £6.45 million into the city over the next five years.

A total of 634 Southampton levy-paying businesses make up the BID and includes Southampton City Council.

The BID area includes the city centre, stretching up to Bedford Place and London Road in the north, down to Town Quay and the Mayflower park in the south, across to Ikea and the West Quay and Mountbatten retail parks in the west and taking in Oxford Street, the city centre parks and Southampton Solent University in the east.