A council grant to the organisation boosting business in the town centre could be cut.

Proposals in Swindon Borough Council’s budget for 2019-20 suggest a £60,000 direct grant to InSwindon Business Improvement District could be cut.

That represents a little over 10 per cent of the organisation’s income, which mostly comes from the 485 businesses in the BID area.

The prospectus sent out to businesses before the vote last year said the 1.25 per cent levy on their businesses rates (on premises rates £8,500 or higher) would raise £2.7m over the years 2017-2022 - which works out at £540,000 per year.

InSwindon BID declined to comment on the budget proposals, but leader of the council, Coun David Renard said: "This is a proposal, so is by no means a done deal - but the council is a member of the BID and pays its levy so makes a contribution there.

"While we're keen to support business growth in any way we can there's no evidence that putting in £60,000 a year is significantly adding to business growth in the town, and the fact is we do have to make savings on our budget.

"In this climate this measure has to be on the table."

The town was one of the first to set up a BID in 2007.

It pays for a street team who patrol the area, helping visitors and keeping an eye out for trouble on behalf on traders in the area, including radio training for the Daywatch, Nightwatch and Pubsafe schemes.

It organises events such as the creation of an urban beach last August and pays for and organises the town centre Christmas lights as well as buying a gum removal machines to clean the streets.

The organisation gets five years to operate and businesses in the town centre have to vote to continue with the scheme for another five years.

At the last vote in 2017 InSwindon said the Bid had made more than £2.7m of investment in the town centre over the previous five years.

The BID area stretches from the railway station in the north to Regent Circus in the south and from Milton Road in the west to Spring Gardens in the east.

Another saving in the area of business support and economic development is a proposed £285,000 windfall by bringing the work of Forward Swindon- an organisation which works to increase investment in the town, back in house to be done by council staff.

The final decision on the budget will be made by councillors in February - for implementation at the start of April - after a period of public consultation.