Lasers and apps first BID projects

A LASER beam pedestrian counter and a mobile phone app for 50 historic walls in Fremantle are the first of seven projects funded by the port city’s new business improvement district (BID).

One idea was dropped and another four are up for consideration this week by the BID executive, including an event, security and interactive artworks.

The BID is run by a not-for-profit company, funded for the next five years using rates revenue redirected from council coffers to its own. That’s about $150,000 this year.

“People know the cappuccino strip and Esplanade,” BID chief Kim Low told the Herald.  “We want to explore other areas of Fremantle by encouraging people to get off the main street.”

She says street lights, safety and community events feature largely in proposals being put forward by business.

Kidogo received the biggest grant—$10,000—to install a pedestrian counter at the gallery for a year.

The Fremantle Society received $5000 for its QR code plaques which people can access via smartphone to learn more about the historic buildings they visit.

Ms Low says businesses have “rallied” since the BID’s quiet launch and come forward with ideas such as mood lighting, water features, painted paths, live music and art. The Fremantle BID is the first in WA to be funded by businesses and commercial property owners via a differential rate already levied by the council.

by CARMELO AMALFI

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