What is a BID?
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led and managed, not-for-profit partnership in a given area such as a town centre, which delivers an agreed business plan, consisting of projects and services that are in addition to those provided by local or national government. This plan is developed through consultation with the businesses and formally voted for, usually every five years by all eligible businesses within the geographic boundary of the Business Improvement District. BIDs are governed by legislation contained in the Local Government Act 2003.
What does a BID deliver?
BIDs can deliver any projects or services that are agreed by the relevant businesses. In Royal Leamington Spa they are marketing & promotional activities, improved way-finding and higher profile events. The actual projects and services are determined as a result of detailed consultation with all the business in the BID area and are set out in the BID Business Plan 2018-2023.
Over the coming months, we will be asking businesses for their thoughts, feedback and ideas to inform the development of a new Business Plan for 2023-2028. BID Leamington will be asking for businesses to support this plan in a renewal ballot in March 2023.
Why is a BID needed?
Royal Leamington Spa operates in a highly competitive market place in which consumer choices relating to where they visit and how they spend are increasingly diverse. The town has many unique selling points (USPs). However, research shows that if it is to improve or even maintain its economic position, the town must promote those USPs in a more structured manner to a larger, targeted customer base.
A BID allows the public and private sector to work together on such projects, enabling Royal Leamington Spa and the trading environment to be managed and promoted in a proactive and planned way.
Increasingly, Leamington Spa is developing its office based businesses, particularly those in the digital games sector. The BID will help to ensure that the town is attractive to employees assisting with the recruitment of employees, who in turn bring additional vibrancy to the town.
How is the BID managed?
The BID is an independent, not for profit company limited by guarantee. The staff team report to the Board of Directors, representatives of the local business community, who have strategic and financial oversight of the business. Ultimately the BID is accountable to its levy payers and every five years they decide through a ballot whether the BID should continue.
Our accounts are independently audited and an Annual Report is published each year reporting on the BID’s activities and finances.
Who funds the BID?
Those businesses that are located within the Leamington BID area, and whose property has a rateable value of over £15,000, pay 1.6% of their rateable value towards the BID. This is called a BID Levy normally paid by the occupiers of a property is mandatory. The BID Levy is collected in July on an annual basis and invoices are issued by Warwick District Council, as the collection agent.
Is the BID levy paid when a property in the BID area is vacant?
Yes, the BID Levy on a vacant property must be paid by the property owner. Property owners also benefit from BID activities which seek to enhance the appearance and vitality of the Business District, thus improving the overall attractiveness of the area. We endeavour to work with property owners to ensure the appearance of the vacant unit does not detract from the rest of the town centre and to identify appropriate opportunities to bring it back into use.
Does the BID replace the local authority’s services?
No, the BID has a legal agreement to ensure that we only deliver projects or services in addition to those that public agencies have to provide. However, a BID can agree to provide additional resources to deliver a higher level of local authority service over the current benchmarked level. An example of this is the Christmas Lights contribution whereby BID funding has been used to enhance the lighting in the BID area, but the Local Authority continue to fund the installation, take-down and power.
Do BIDs replace town centre management?
BIDs can be established in any commercial or industrial areas. Where there is town centre management in place, a BID will work in partnership to enhance services delivering on the issues specified in the BID business plan. In Royal Leamington Spa, the Town Centre Development Officer has responsibility for both businesses in the BID area and those in the south of the town outside the BID area. BID Leamington works with the Town Centre Development Officer where necessary to deliver complementary services to give a town a competitive edge over rivals.
Can my business be involved in the BID if my property is outside the boundary or has a rateable value less than £15,000?
Yes, a property that is located within the ‘Leamington Spa Town Centre’ as defined by the Warwick District Council Local Plan, can become a voluntary member. The fee is the same as other BID member businesses, so is currently 1.6% of the rateable value of the property or a minimum fee from £100.00 + VAT per year. The business will receive similar benefits e.g. inclusion on the Royal Leamington Spa website, Mini-Maps & Guides, Little Book of Offers advertising and more. Please contact us for more details.