Ask a Question
What is a BID?
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 over 170 BIDs in the UK now and over 30 of these have been renewed. 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.
BID’s can be developed in towns, cities and industrial estates.
Essentially a BID is designed to be for the businesses, controlled by the businesses.
What is the duration of a BID?
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.
How will the BID be developed?
Conwy County Council’s Bay Life representatives have appointed BID specialists, Partnerships for Better Business Ltd (pfbb UK), to work with them to help develop a BID.
It is essential that the businesses in the area determine the activities and objectives of the BID Business Plan. A series of business interviews, workshops, surveys and other research will be carried out to determine
• what improvements businesses in the area would like to make,
• why people visit the area and what would encourage them to visit more and stay longer.
We will develop a business plan and lead your representatives and local authority through the legal requirements to create the framework for the BID.
Improvements are made if the majority of ratepayers in a designated area approve them through a vote. This enables businesses to have a direct role in deciding what improvements should be made in their local area. After five years, the businesses will re-vote on whether they want the BID to continue and what they want to improve over the next five years.
How is the BID funded?
The development of the BID has been funded by Conwy County Council who have invested £30,000 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.
How much will it cost me as a business?
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. A 2% levy in the area could possibly generate around £200,000 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.
Why this area?
The Welsh Government has identified the Bay of Colwyn as an area that they would wish to support in developing a BID.
This area is undergoing a period of significant transformation but lifestyles are changing rapidly and this area competes with many smaller surrounding centres for its catchment’s disposable income. Businesses in this area need sustainable support to take advantage of its important strategic location and recent investments made in the area.
Through the BID, businesses could implement changes that they choose, to help improve the profile of businesses in the area, improve links between the different commercial elements of the area, and encourage people to visit the area more often and stay longer and national and international clients to use the businesses in the area – leading to increased turnover and profits and a more vibrant economy across the whole area.
Who will promote and manage the BID?
A new BID private limited company, which is limited by guarantee and has its own management board, would be established to administer 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.
EKULT have produced a provisional report into recommended signage systems for Mochdre business parks. Planning consent is being sought before final recommendations are made. These will then be shared with business and we will seek your input and opinions on the best way forward.
We will also start looking at signage in other three areas within the next few months.
What area will the BID cover?
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 area, and the potential levy to be raised.
How will my business benefit?
You and the other businesses will identify the issues that will be tackled by the BID in the area. However you can be certain that the BID will:
• Deliver a pragmatic and business driven agenda.
• Be business led.
• Benefit from effective partnership with the public sector.
• Deliver sustained investment to improve the area over a five year period.
• Focus on achieving positive and measurable outcomes of benefit to all businesses.
What will the BID deliver?
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 the area 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 your 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.