A BID is a Business Improvement District.
BIDs are part of the government’s long-term strategy , along with ‘Town Teams’ and the Mary Portas Review to encourage partnership working between a Local Authority and the business community. A BID is a defined area within which rate-paying businesses decide on new improvements to help transform their area – and then vote to agree the investment. This money is then ring-fenced to provide the improvements agreed through the BID strategy.
There are currently over 300 BIDs, with some in to their 3rd or even 4th term. The majority of these had a greater turnout and an even greater vote in favour than the first time of voting. They see improvements to business profitability and turnover which would not have happened without a BID.
BIDs can be developed in towns, cities and industrial estates.
Essentially a BID is designed to be for the businesses, controlled by the businesses.
A BID normally lasts for five years. Some BIDs choose to run for three years. A BID can be renewed for future periods, but needs to go through a renewal process
The town is undergoing a period of significant transformation but lifestyles are changing rapidly and the town competes with other towns for its catchment’s disposable income. Businesses in Halifax need sustainable support to take advantage of its important strategic location and investments being made in the town.
Through the BID, businesses could implement changes that they choose, to help improve the profile of businesses in the town, improve links between the different commercial sectors, and encourage people to visit Halifax more often and stay longer and national and international clients to use the businesses in the town – leading to increased turnover and profits and a more vibrant economy across the whole town and its surrounding area…
A BID private limited company, which is limited by guarantee and has its own management board, administers the project.
This is a not-for profit company, board members would be made up of volunteer individuals who represent the cross section of businesses and organisations across the area. BID Boards normally appoint a project manager and support staff to implement the projects identified in the plan. These can be employed directly by the BID or via a specialist project management company who will also then offer strategic support.
The BID boundary will be determined by you, the businesses, as part of the consultation process.
The final decision will take into account key land marks, synergies between the different aspects of the town centre, and the potential levy to be raised.
The vision and objectives of the BID will be determined by you, the businesses as part of the consultation process. They will be outlined in the Business Plan that you vote upon. The action plans drawn up during the BID’s lifetime will all relate back to these objectives.
The BID will deliver the changes and improvements that you and the other businesses in Halifax identify – these might include targeted street clean-ups, improved signage, promotions and events to increase the profile of the area – all of which will help to drive customer visits and encourage longer stays. It might be group buying initiatives which reduce costs and increased support with skill development and training, or specific targeted campaigns to support retailers and the leisure sector or professional services, commercial and industrial sectors.
However it is important to remember that the BID will not replace the existing services provided by the local authority– these will be benchmarked and monitored by the BID Company to ensure that the money generated through the BID is used for the improvements voted for by the businesses in the BID district.
You and the other businesses will identify the issues that will be tackled by the BID in the town.
However you can be certain that the BID will:
The development of the BID has been funded by Marketing Halifax and Calderdale Council who have invested over £50,000 in this process.
If the vote is successful, the BID itself is funded by the businesses in the BID district and aims to be both fair and transparent. If the majority of businesses vote for the BID, all businesses in the area will be subject to an additional levy to their rates. This overcomes the problem of a few businesses paying for improvements that benefit many. We also hope that the BID will serve as a catalyst for change and bring in more investment to the area.
You will vote on how much money you want to pay towards the BID. A levy is charged to all business.
This levy is based on the rateable value of your premises. On average this levy is usually set at between 1 and 2% of the rateable value. Typically a 1% levy in a town centre could possibly generate around £300,000 per annum which will be ring-fenced to make and manage the improvements that you have voted for.
A BID can decide on the structure and criteria of its levies and may wish to consider a flat rate, a tiered charging system or capped rates. This will be outlined in the Business plan.
You will – once the BID strategy has been drawn-up, you will be asked to vote on whether you would like it to go ahead.
For the BID to proceed, those who vote in favour must represent a majority of the vote by number of votes and aggregate rateable value.
Contact us to register your details to receive regular e-bulletins and updates about the BID’s progress and activities, and participate in the consultations and working groups.
You can contact the BID office on 01422 360035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for any information. Our Ambassadors are always happy to visit any business to give you more information.