BID’s a unified and effective voice for local business
There are over 200 BIDs in the UK and Ireland with the number growing year on year. Here are some examples of neighbouring BIDs and what they have been achieving. Each BID is set up after a ballot of all the eligible businesses in the defined BID area, and is funded by a small levy on all the area’s businesses.
The amounts raised by the individual BID levies around the country range from just £55,000 to an astonishing £2.7 million per year. Each BID’s status lasts for five years and then businesses can choose to hold a re-ballot.
There is no doubt that the benefits of becoming a BID for businesses, are both visible and tangible and are also extremely varied – from making an area safer and more secure through improving the way it looks and feels, to building strong links with the local community to increase footfall and profits.
At Better Bankside, for example, there have been significant improvements to the look and feel of once run-down and forgotten corners of the area. Via the BID company the businesses have created the visit bankside website to attract people to investigate and discover them and the area. Better bankside is one of the most successful and innovative BID’s in the country and the first in Southwark.
It was not always thus but this historic district is now a vibrant and attractive location thanks to Team London Bridge. One benefit of the area’s BID is that all local businesses have been consulted on the expansion and redevelopment of the famous London Bridge station. In addition to developing an exclusive website for visitors to the area, Team London Bridge have achieved award-winning status for some of their new ‘pocket parks ‘and attractive plantings. The London Bridge area has seen unprecedented change in recent times and the vision of the businesses in the area, through the Team London Bridge BID has helped local businesses, old and new, to embrace and shape the change for the better.
Further along the river heading west, the Waterloo Quarter BID has been enjoying the benefits of reviving the area’s food culture with its own food festival and an initiative to encourage people who work in the area to eat their lunch in the space too. In October 2012, the Waterloo Quarter BID company took on the management of Lower Marsh Market from the local Council and have been working to encourage new traders and new visitors to the market. Working with their local College, they have helped to establish an ‘Introduction to Street Trading’ course to inspire the next generation of stallholders.