What is a BID?
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a geographical area which the local businesses have decided, by majority vote/ballot, to collectively invest in, for the improvement of their environment.
Who decides on the Bridgend boundary?
The boundaries have been discussed and will be decided by, a Bridgend BID steering group of strong minded business owners / traders who all care passionately for our town centre. Crucial deciding factors that have been important in boundary decisions, are the results of Bridgend town centre businesses surveys and whether or not a BID would be able to benefit particular areas.
What voting/ballot results are needed for a BID to go ahead?
To ensure the interests of both large and small businesses, before a BID can successfully go ahead, the ballot must be won on two counts, both votes and total rateable value;
- “yes” votes, in favour, must represent more than 50% of the votes cast
- “yes” votes, in favour, must represent more than 50% of the total rateable value, of the votes cast
The ballot date of, 4th of August, is a time when many businesses are away; how can they vote?
The August break will not be a problem as the ballot paper will go out on the 7th of July giving voters a 28 day period, up until the 4th of August, to cast their postal votes.
Where can I find a list to see if my business is eligible?
In the final Bridgend BID proposal, which will be made available on this website as soon as it is published, at least 28 days before the final ballot day. A BID proposal will also be sent out with each ballot paper. The BID Proposal will include a boundary map as well as a list of all the streets. Those at, or above, the threshold of £6000 will be eligible to vote in the ballot. The town council will be sent a copy for public display.
What do BIDs do?
BIDs provide additional or improved services as identified and requested by local businesses. The programme of services that BIDs deliver is set out in a BID Proposal.
How are BIDs funded?
- Where from: If a ballot is successful BIDs are funded through a levy calculated on the total rateable value of eligible business units. Although the percentage can be set higher or lower, most BIDs set their levy at between 1% and 1.5% of rateable value and sometimes exempt very small ratepayers. In Bridgend, the levy will be set at 1.25% of the total rateable value on day of the ballot and will not be altered during the three year term. There will be a £6000 levy threshold in Bridgend, which mean that all businesses with a rateable value of less the £6000 will be exempt. Once a ballot is successful the BID levy is mandatory for all eligible businesses and other bodies, such as the local authority, that are located within the BID area.
- Billing: BID Legislation provides for local authorities to be the billing body. In addition, the Council already has systems and procedures in place to collect income such as the BID levy.
- Spending: All money collected by the Council on behalf of the BID company is put into a ring-fenced account, and passed to the BID Company for use on the projects and services set out in the BID Business Plan.
- Multiplying: This levy income can be used to lever in more funding; for example from public sector agencies, grant bodies, sponsorship, landowners and trading income, maximising the potential funding stream and the benefits that the BID can achieve.
How and why was the threshold decided?
As with the boundaries, the threshold was decided by the same steering group of strong minded business owners / traders of BID Steering Group, who all care passionately for our town centre. If the threshold was set too low, the cost of collection became uneconomically sound. A BID needs to be based on a strong and viable economic foundation.
How do you ensure services are additional to those already in place?
The proposed programme of services should clearly be additional to those provided by the local authority and not used to replace existing baseline public sector services. This will be set out in a Baseline Services Agreement detailing local authority responsibilities.
Who governs the BID?
Following a successful ballot, a wholly independent, non-profit company limited by guarantee would be established. All businesses that were eligible to vote and that pay the levy may become members of the company. Any member can stand for election to the board. Any member can stand for election, by the levy payers, to the board.
How long does a BID last?
The BID term lasts for a maximum of 5 years and must be able to demonstrate how it has benefited the businesses that have funded it. After the 5 year term a re-ballot is required. In Bridgend the BID term has been set to 3 years – In the event of a YES vote, after the 3 year term, a re-ballot will be required for the BID to continue.
So far in the UK most BIDs that have sought a second term at re-ballot have been successful – with an increase in both turn out and ‘yes’ votes. And those few already seeking a third term have seen even higher support.