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A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led and business funded body formed to improve a defined commercial area.

WHERE DID THE BID IDEA START?

Business Improvement Districts (BID) were first established in Canada and the United States during the 1960s and now exist across the globe in South Africa, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

BIDs were introduced to the UK in 2005, with the number of BIDs increasing dramatically.

HOW MANY BIDS ARE THERE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM?

The majority of BIDs exist in town centres, however there are increasing numbers in industrial areas, as well as commercial and mixed-use locations. There are over 220 BIDs in the UK.

The average size of a BID is 300-400 hereditaments (business properties), with some of the smallest having fewer than 50 hereditaments and the largest at 2,500.

Annual income is typically £200,000-£600,000 however it can be less than £50,000 or over £2 million per annum.

HOW DO YOU CREATE A BID?

A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot in which businesses vote on a BID Proposal or business plan for the area.

The ballot is usually run by the local authority however it is sometimes outsourced by the authority to a third party. All eligible businesses that pay the levy are balloted.

HOW LONG DOES A BID RUN FOR?

BIDs operate for a maximum of five years, going back to ballot for a further five years.

WHAT DO BIDS ACTUALLY DO?

The improvements made by a BID are determined by businesses and can include core services such as additional cleaning and security or more wide-ranging projects such as recycling, business support, improved infrastructure, joint purchasing, destination branding and promotion.