What is a business improvement district (BID)?
A BID is a democratically elected business-led and business-funded body formed to invest in and improve a trading environment. A BID enables businesses to work collectively to decide on the improvements they want to make in their area. As a democratically elected, independent body, a BID allows businesses to have a greater influence and impact on how their local area is managed and develops. A BID can only deliver projects and services over and above the statutory services already provided by local authorities and public bodies.
What is Shrewsbury BID?
Shrewsbury BID is an independent, not-for-profit company, dedicated to delivering projects, programmes and services that improve the trading environment for businesses in Shrewsbury town centre. Shrewsbury BID was elected for its first term in November 2013; 76% of those that voted were in favour, and by rateable value 83% were in favour. The BID was elected by businesses in the town centre, who also chose its priorities through a consultation process, and strategic leadership is provided by a board of local business people. The company became operational in April 2014.
Businesses in Shrewsbury will be voting on the second term of Shrewsbury BID during September and October 2018 which would see the BID continue until 2024.
How is the BID funded?
To fund the projects identified by businesses, eligible businesses within the BID area with a rateable value of over £10,000 pay a levy of 1.5% of their rateable value. This levy brings in revenue of over £300,000 per year, which can only be spent on the agreed priorities.
The proposed threshold for BID2 is £12,000 to fall in line with the increase in small business rates relief. The area is also being slightly expanded to include the enhanced gateway to the town at Abbey Foregate. More information can be found on the Shrewsbury BID website.
Is the levy compulsory?
The levy is mandatory for all eligible businesses. However, there are exemptions for commercial properties with a rateable value below £10,000. Exemptions also apply to non-retail charities with no trading income, arm or facilities, along with not-for-profit subscription and volunteer based organisations.
What are the BID’s priorities?
For its first five-year term, which began in April 2014, Shrewsbury BID has four key priorities:
Marketing, Profile and Promotion: Shrewsbury BID works to raise the profile of the town through professionally delivered marketing and promotional activities, including high-profile marketing campaigns, town centre activations and a strong digital and online presence.
Access and Car Parking: Shrewsbury BID works to improve the efficiency and accessibility of the town centre, including addressing concerns about car parking with Shropshire Council and improving the walkability of the town.
Backing Business: Members of Shrewsbury BID have access to monthly footfall data provided by two cameras in the town centre, cost-saving initiatives, allowing businesses to benefit from greater collective purchasing power and economies of scale. Shrewsbury BID also manages Shrewsbury Watch, the town’s radio and safety network.
Drive and Direction: Shrewsbury BID provides a credible representational voice for business, to make sure the views of the business community are heard on important issues.
For the second term of Shrewsbury BID, following a consultation with its members, a new business plan has been developed. The new delivery themes are Promoting and Animating, Supporting and Enhancing, and Representing and Influencing. Find out more about the BID2 priorities and business plan.
How is the BID held accountable?
The projects and services are agreed and set out in the current business plan which forms the framework from which the BID delivers its priorities. Specific key performance indicators (KPIs) are set, and performance against these is monitored by the representative BID Board.
Have BIDs been a success elsewhere?
There are now over 300 BIDs established throughout the UK, with each location having a unique local business plan. Examples of other towns and cities with BIDs includes Chester, Bath, Aberystwyth, Oswestry, Stafford and Leamington Spa.
How can I find out more information?
For further information, please contact Seb Slater, executive director:
- Tel: 01743 358625
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.shrewsburybid.co.uk