There are over 300 BIDs already operating across the UK,
with the majority focusing on town or city centres.
The activities of a BID are designed to benefit the entire
range of business sectors within central Bradford and could include:
• Distinct promotional campaigns to highlight the range and quality of speciality independent businesses, as well as to promote distinct areas of the city
• The opportunity to participate in a number of new events and projects to raise the profile of individual businesses
• Discounted costs on a range of business overheads negotiated on your behalf
• Access to a range of professional and support services arranged for the city
• Being part of a local network of major retailers, enabling you to share and gain in-depth trading insights
• Access to key city centre performance information, such as footfall data, sales performance, car park occupancy and vacant unit trends
• The ability to collaborate operationally over seasonal trading campaigns, notably Christmas
• Promotion and marketing of Bradford to a wider and more targeted regional audience
• As with the independent retail sector, promotional campaigns to highlight the range and quality of food and drink businesses – both collectively and individually
• The creation of events and projects to directly involve and promote the range of leisure and cultural opportunities in the city
• Work towards specific projects to improve the night-time economy experience and to further energise the 5pm-7pm period, as possibly working towards the prestigious Purple Flag status
Professional & office sector
• Additional activities aimed specifically at the professional & office businesses within the city centre
• The ability to promote your services to more than 600 fellow city centre businesses through regular communications, such as newsletters and networking meetings
• Greater co-ordination and interaction with regional bodies, such as the Local Enterprise Partnership
How are BIDs funded and set up?
A BID is funded by businesses paying a small proportion (typically of between 1% and 2%) of their business rateable value towards the BID. This money is then ring-fenced for use only in the BID area. A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot in which businesses vote on a Business Plan which they have developed.
How much would it cost my business?
A levy of 1.25% is applied in Bradford, which means that a small business with a rateable value of £20,000 would invest £250 per year, a medium sized business with a rateable value of £65,000 would invest £813 per year and a large business with a rateable value of £350,000 would invest £4,375 per year. A reduced levy of 0.94% is applied for tenants of managed shopping centres to reflect the service charge which they pay, which would result in slightly reduced payments to those listed above.
How much money would be generated?
Initial research suggests a BID area which would include approximately 600 businesses. This would generate approximately £500,000 per year, which we would also expect to be supplemented by voluntary contributions from local businesses outside the city centre. BIDs are also often successful in gaining additional funding, because they are attractive to public sector bodies who are encouraged to match-fund money raised by the private sector through the BID.
How does the ballot work?
It is run by the Council on behalf of local businesses or outsourced to an independent third party and is conducted entirely by post. All businesses that would pay the levy have a minimum of 28 days to vote. For a BID to go ahead the ballot must be won on two counts – a straight majority and majority of rateable value. There is no minimum turnout threshold.
Which area would be covered?
Initial research suggests that the entire core city centre area should be included. However, the area proposed remains open to consultation.
Would all businesses be liable to pay the BID levy?
In principle, yes, although an exemption level of £12,000 is applied, which means that small businesses which fall under this threshold are not be liable to pay the levy or to vote in the ballot. They would however be able to join the BID and therefore benefit from a number of services for a voluntary annual contribution of approximately £100.
Isn’t this just replacing current activities?
No – the BID is established to carry out projects over and above anything currently happening or planned in Bradford so will deliver added value and activity in the key areas identified. Furthermore, the BID is governed by a Board made up of BID levy payers, who are tasked with ensuring that BID activities deliver additional impact to existing activities.
Why doesn’t the Council provide these services already?
Councils are under increasing pressure to deliver a range of public services and simply do not have the finances to deliver the services which BIDs can. BIDs are however designed to deliver additional activity and generally enter into a legal agreement with public-sector bodies, such as Councils to ensure that they continue to provide core services, with the BID delivering projects above and beyond these standards. BIDs are therefore usually the best opportunity to make a real difference to the area and Bradford Council are demonstrating their commitment to supporting the economic prosperity of Bradford by commissioning an independent specialist to help take the proposals forwards.
When could this happen?
The following timetable is being followed:
Business survey and production of detailed Feasibility Report
Subject to the results of the survey, decision to proceed with BID and creation of shadow BID Board
January 2018 – August 2018
Business liaison and consultation on proposed Business Plan
Launch of Business Plan
Ballot papers issued
Votes cast and result announced
BID begins operation
How long will the BID last?
The maximum term for any BID is 5 years and this is timescale in Bradford, which would generate more than £2.5 million towards key improvements. If businesses wish, further 5-year terms could subsequently be proposed and taken to ballot.