BUSINESSES in Darlington have saved more than £30,000 on services and utilities thanks to a new procurement initiative.

 

The town centre retailers, which range from hair salons to photographic studios and clothes shops to delicatessens, are all independently owned and lie within the Business Improvement District (BID) overseen by Distinct Darlington.

 

Now, their bills for services such as energy and telecomshave been slashed after Distinct Darlington joined forces with BID procurement specialist Meercat Associates Ltd.

 

By utilising the collective purchasing power of the Business Improvement District, Meercat Associates has negotiated reduced bills for business owners such as Nicola Reading, owner of Bliss Gifts, at Duke Street.

 

“I’ve saved £700 on my utility bills since the scheme started in June 2014, which has made a considerable difference to me,” said Nicola.

 

“I pay an annual charge of around £200 to be a member of the Business Improvement District and so the savings I have made more than offset that levy.”

 

In the past month alone the scheme has saved town centre businesses more than £2000 and Alex Hirst, manager of Distinct Darlington, said: “This initiative is part of our promise to town centre businesses to seek to make the BID levy cost-neutral to as many businesses as possible.

 

“So far, for every £1 we have spent on implementing this initiative, we have saved businesses around £6 – and, obviously, we are delighted with that result.”

 

To find out more about the scheme or for further information about Distinct Darlington visit www.distinctdarlington.co.uk.