What Is A BID?

An Effective Voice For Local Business

The first UK Business Improvement District -BID – was founded in 2005 and there are now over 300 across the country.

A BID is established by a ballot of businesses in the defined BID area and is managed by a representative board of local business owners. 

Each BID term lasts for five-years and must then go to re-ballot, giving businesses the opportunity to vote for or against a further term.

Therefore the success or failure of BID operations are judged at re-ballot.

How is a BID funded?

Once a ballot is successful the BID levy is mandatory for all eligible businesses in the defined area who are above the threshold set in the BID proposal. Income is principally generated through the levy contribution which is based on the rateable value of the business premises. BIDs are also very good at attracting additional investment into the area to supplement activities. The income of the varied BID locations, range from as little as £55,000 up to £2.7 million per year, meaning operations will reflect this to give member businesses value and lasting results for their contribution.

How is a BID Levy Collected?

The BID levy is collected by the local Council on behalf of the BID. Invoices are issued for the amount due on the business premises at the start of the financial year in April.

What services do businesses get?

Services are extremely varied and diverse, ranging from initiatives to reduce operating costs for members, making an area safer, improving the way it looks and feels, providing a calendar of events to forging links with the local community, the local Council, stakeholder organisations and strategic agencies.

Southwark BID's Network

Southwark is also home to four neighbouring BID’s, whose work has been vastly instrumental in helping to regenerate their locations and deliver positive benefits for their business members. Together we formed the Southwark BID forum and meet every quarter to exchange ideas and work with the Council and relative strategic bodies to address the collective challenges faced by our business members.

Meet Our Neighbours

South Bank BID was set up in 2014 by South Bank Employers’ Group and is dedicated to providing a strong voice for the 180 local businesses and providing additional resources for the benefit of visitors, employees and residents.

We are Waterloo BID have helped boost the areas food culture with its own food festival. In October 2012, the BID took on the management of Lower Marsh Market from the Council that has seen the market prosper and attract a new generation of stall holders and visitors.

Better Bankside BID has transformed this once run down and forgotten corner of the capital to become a major destination for visitors and investors from across the world. They have delivered groundbreaking initiatives for their member businesses and the local community.

Team London Bridge BID have have helped local businesses embrace and shape the enormous changes brought about by the recent expansion and redevelopment of London Bridge station, making this historic district an even more vibrant and attractive location.

The Southwark BID Map

Other resources

British BIDS
Government BID Guidance 

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