What are Business Improvement Districts?
So what are Business Improvement Districts? Since the introduction of legislation over 10 years ago, more than 250 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have been created across the UK.
BIDs are business-led and the majority focus upon town and city centres, although they are not confined to these areas, with many being formed in out of town industrial or commercial areas.
BIDs operate through the levy of a small percentage on National Non-Domestic Rates (commonly referred to as Business Rates), with the actual levy percentage varying depending on the area in question.
All BIDs have a clear and focused role, contained within a Business Plan which all eligible businesses & organisations are asked to vote upon in a ballot. For any BID to be successful, there needs to be a majority of votes supporting the proposals.
The intention of BIDs are to add projects and activities to a town or city over and above those which are already taking place and a BID is not, therefore, a mechanism for any public or private sector body to cease to provide established activities.
The maximum term covered by a BID Business Plan is 5 years and the continuation of any BID beyond their initial term is reliant on the production of a renewed Business Plan and a renewal ballot of the businesses within the BID area. Over 80 BIDs have achieved a successful renewal ballot and several are within their third BID term, having achieved two subsequent renewal ballots.
The growth in the number of BIDs continues to rise and they are increasingly considered as the model of best-practice for high quality town and city centre management.