What is a Business Improvement District?

A Business Improvement District – or BID – is a way for local businesses to work together in partnership with the local authority to tackle issues that affect their trading environment. Problems which are too large or widespread for any one business to address can be solved by all businesses coming together to finance and manage improvements. This can increase footfall, make it easier to retain staff, solve difficult issues and ultimately result in higher profits. Businesses decide on a package of measures they think their area needs and then vote on whether to pay for them in a formal ballot. If the majority vote yes, and those who vote yes also represent at least 50% of the rateable value of all eligible businesses, then all contribute. The money is then collected and the services delivered.

Where else have BIDs been developed?

Businesses in hundreds of towns and cities across the country already benefit from being part of a BID.

What can a BID do?

A BID can deliver anything its businesses decide they need as long as it is over and above what the local authority already provides.

How does the BID work?

BIDs are run by independent, not-for-profit companies with a controlling board made up of, and elected by, representatives of those businesses involved. The BID Board meets regularly to oversee each project and to take the main decisions on behalf of all businesses.

To ensure the Board reflects the wishes and needs of all the businesses involved in each area there has been extensive consultation and engagement through mailings, individual and group meetings and through this website. Through consultation businesses identified the problems and issues they all face, and agreed how best to address them. This has lead to the production of a detailed business plan which contains the details of how the BID will tackle the problems if voted in. Finally the ballot ensures a consensus has been reached. The money is only collected if a majority of those who vote agree with the business plan. If businesses vote ‘yes’, the money is ring-fenced and can only be spent in the way the businesses have agreed.