A TOTAL of £142,000 remains in the coffers of Hexham’s failed Business Improvement District (BID).

The contentious project, which charged a compulsory levy on businesses to fund improvements in the town, was wound up last August after less than a year in operation.

The final balance sheet for the BID has been released which shows that a total fund of £142,174 collected from traders is currently lying dormant.

Northumberland County Councillor for Hexham West, Derek Kennedy, is now calling on Northumberland County Council to act to try to rescue the mess made by the project.

Coun. Kennedy said: “This is the residue of the BID accounts and the question now is ‘what happens with that money?’ The options would appear to be returning the amount to those companies which paid in, or could it be ringfenced and used for something in Hexham?

“What we need to do in 2019 is come together and distribute this money as a final phase of the BID.”

In Northumberland County Council’s most recent statement on the topic, a spokesman said the authority was still looking into what it would do with the remaining cash.

He said: “Northumberland County Council is currently taking professional advice to ensure that it fulfils its obligations under BID legislation. This will include communication to levy payers, particularly in relation to any refund due.

“Any assessment as to refunds that may be due will need to be made once BID Company accounts are finalised, the company has ceased to trade and been wound up to the satisfaction of the council.

“We wrote to all levy payers in September to inform them of this and will communicate with them again once the above has been completed and we can inform on how any refund process will be conducted.”