Local business leaders are hoping to launch a project which will improve conditions in Bournemouth town centre and increase revenue for shops.
On 19 April, businesses in Bournemouth town centre will vote on the Business Improvement District (BID).
The project aims to raise the profile of Bournemouth town centre in order to increase footfall and bring businesses more customers.
Tony Brown, chairman of Town Centre BID Steering Group, said: “In other BID towns, I see how BIDs make a difference, fighting back against the loss of trade from the internet, out-of-town shopping and from high parking charges.
“The BID is about all of us, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, bars, cinemas, retailers, working together, to bring us all more customers.”
Bournemouth town centre has averaged a nine per cent decrease in footfall since 2005.
“A successful BID will see the whole town centre busier and better,” said Stuart Smith, owner of All Fired Up, a ceramics shop in the centre.
BID will focus on four areas.
More than £1m will be spent over the next five years to make the town centre more safe and secure by hiring town rangers to patrol the streets.
Another £1.2m will be spent on marketing, promotion and events to increase activity in the area.
Half a million will be spent in improving access through maps and signs for customers, and another £50,000 on supporting businesses through discounted insurance and practical advice.
“This is not only good for businesses, but for us customers as well. The town can feel rowdy and unwelcoming, especially in the evening. I’m glad to know conditions will be changing,” said Bournemouth resident Felicity Prior.