Dublin city centre businesses have voted to continue with an area improvement scheme run by the DublinTown company.

A group of businesses had organised a campaign to end the Business Improvement District (BID) scheme.

It involves an extra levy on each ratepayer in the core city centre extending from Grafton St to O'Connell St and surrounding areas.

But in a ballot counted in city hall this evening, the result was 843 votes in favour of the scheme with 715 against.

The BID scheme originated in Toronto, Canada in 1970 and is now used in cities around  the world.

It involves traders in a designated area paying extra money towards works such as street cleaning, graffiti removal and Christmas lights.

Dún Laoghaire businesses voted to set up a BID in 2014.

In Dublin the scheme, later rebranded as DublinTown, was set up in 2007 following a vote among 3,000 ratepayers in Dublin 1 and Dublin 2.

Each premises is then legally required to pay the equivalent of 5% of their rates to the BID scheme.

Supporters of the scheme, which include the managers of the Powerscourt and Jervis shopping centres, say DublinTown does important promotion and marketing work.

But critics, including the Restaurant Association of Ireland and Weir and Sons Jewellers, say its work duplicates that of other organisations and that rate payments should cover works such as street maintenance.

The scheme goes for a plebiscite every five years.  In 2012 it was passed by 1,063 votes to 511.