What is a BID?

An arrangement whereby businesses get together, decide what improvements they want to their town centre, how they will manage these and what it will cost them. This all goes into a business plan which is voted on by all those who would have to pay. The BID lasts for a maximum of five years and must be able to demonstrate how it benefits the businesses that have funded it. The funds raised are ringfenced and spent entirely in the BID area on the projects agreed by you.

Have BIDs been supported elsewhere in the UK?

Since September 2004 when this legislation was introduced, there have been over 300 BIDs developed in the UK, which over the next five years will bring in over £100 million of new finance to develop their locations. Harrogate and York are just some of the local areas to have benefited from their BID.

What might a BID deliver?

It’s up to you. BIDs can deliver any projects or services that are agreed by the businesses in the BID area and that are over and above anything that the public sector provides through your business rates. In most cases they include marketing and promotional activities, increasing safety and security for businesses and customers, attracting new businesses and investment, reducing costs and enhancing the visitor experience. The important thing is that the BID is focused on increasing footfall and spend for businesses and the attractiveness of the place. This will become even more important with the housing and growth projected for our area.

Why do businesses support BIDs?

A BID is a mechanism which allows businesses to raise a sum of money to manage and deliver projects that they have identified and believe will improve their town centre, ultimately increasing trade for those businesses who are paying for the improvements.

Who can develop a BID?

A BID can be proposed by any business ratepayer, property owner, local authority or other key stakeholders with an interest in the BID Area.

Who pays for a BID?

Once projects and services have been agreed by businesses along with how they are going to be delivered and managed, they are costed up and set out in a detailed business plan. The cost to each business is worked out on a pro rata basis. This is called the ‘BID LEVY’ and for most small businesses in the BID area this will be about 60p a day. A small amount that collectively makes a real difference to the town centre and its economy.

How will the BID be managed?

BIDs are normally controlled and managed by local businesses that are paying the levy, currently the majority of successful BIDs are delivered through a Company Limited by Guarantee (not-for-profit). The BID Company would be responsible for the delivery of the BID projects and services and directly responsible to all businesses through a board elected from those businesses that pay the BID levy.

How does an area become a BID?

Normally a ‘BID Task Group’ is set up which is responsible for putting together a detailed business plan setting out the projects it aims to deliver on behalf of the businesses in the BID area. This is based on a detailed consultation process with businesses. The business plan will include the projects, cost, delivery guarantees, performance indicators and the management structure. A confidential postal vote is held, all the businesses that would pay the BID levy get a vote. To become a BID a majority of those that vote must be in favour by number and rateable value. A successful BID then has a mandate for a maximum of 5 years after which the BID would need to seek a re-ballot.

Does this mean the public agencies will stop delivering services?

BID money can only be used to carry out projects/services ADDITIONAL to those that public services have to provide. Prior to the BID Business Plan being produced the current services being delivered by all public agencies including the Local Authorities and Police are benchmarked. The BID company can agree to provide additional resources to deliver a higher level of service over and above the benchmarked level if this is what businesses have identified.

How is a BID monitored?

Like any good business plan, specific key performance indicators (KPI’s) are set and performance is monitored against the KPI’s by the BID board. The BID Company is answerable to the businesses that pay the BID levy, and will be required to monitor and inform its members on its progress towards the agreed KPI’s.


Sept 2020

BID Task Group formed

Oct 2020 to Apr 2021

Business Consultation & Engagement

May – Jun 2021

Draft Business Plan & Consultation

July 2021

Full Business Plan

Sept 2021

BID Campaign & Ballot

For more information on any of the above, please contact us.