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How Business Improvement Districts are set up and work

The Business Improvement District (BID) proposer can be any non-domestic ratepayer, property owner, local authority or other key stakeholder with interest in the BID area.

The BID proposer must develop a proposal and submit this to us, along with a business plan. The proposal should set out the services to be provided and the size and scope of the BID. It should also set out who is responsible for the levy, the amount of levy to be collected and how it is calculated.

The BID proposer or body will then ballot potential business members and is required to meet two tests:

  • more than 50% of votes cast must be in favour of the BID
  • the 'yes' vote must represent more than 50% of the aggregate rateable value of votes cast

If this happens, the BID company is established, and the BID levy, the primary funding mechanism, becomes mandatory for all defined ratepayers and is enforceable as per business rates collection. We manage the ballot process.

Who pays the BID levy

BID levy rules vary between BIDs and must be set out in the proposal document businesses were balloted on, which covers who is responsible for the levy, the amount of levy to be collected and how it is calculated.

The proposal must also provide details of any relief from the BID levy that may apply and who qualifies. The amount and type of relief depend on local circumstances but could include charity relief.

You can find details of your BID.

How long BIDs last

BIDs cannot last for longer than 5 years. After 5 years, the BID will automatically cease.

If the BID company wishes to continue its activities, it must hold a new ballot. This is known as a renewal ballot.

Who manages the BID

A BID is managed by a BID body, this is often a private company, and most are not-for-profit companies.

The BID body is responsible for developing and implementing the proposal, which sets out how the BID will operate.

They will provide us with the:

  • proposal
  • business plan
  • estimated cash flow
  • predicted revenue to be generated by the BID levy
  • financial management arrangements

We will manage billing and the collection of the BID levy, holding the levy in a ring-fenced revenue account on behalf of the Business Improvement District body.

Page last updated: 8 March 2023

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