What is a BID?

A BID is an arrangement whereby businesses get together to decide what additional improvements they want to make to their location, how they are going to manage and deliver those improvements and what they are prepared to pay to make it happen. This information is used to create a Business Plan upon which all who would have to pay can vote. If the majority vote yes by number and rateable value, payment is mandatory for all businesses in the BID area.

A BID can last for a maximum of 5 years and must be able to demonstrate how it has benefitted businesses who have funded it. A BID normally takes between 12 and 18 months to develop and can be located in a city, town centre, business park, industrial estate or tourism destination. There are now over 200 BIDs in the UK and over 2,000 worldwide.

The Benefits of a BID

BIDs provide sustainable funding for an agreed period of time enabling the private sector to work with partners to deliver a variety of projects aimed at improving their business environment.

BIDs need not simply deliver short term, operational services (e.g. cleansing and maintenance). Increasingly BID's have the opportunity to take on a strategic and leadership function. The knowledge, expertise and representative nature of many BID companies enables the development of a long term vision, strategy and action plan for the BID area. The benefits of BIDs are wide ranging and include:


  • Increased footfall
  • Increased spend
  • Increase in asset value
  • Reduced business costs through central procurement
  • Reduction in crime
  • Improved physical environment
  • Improved competitiveness
  • Staff retention
  • Enabling businesses to decide, direct and control plans and action for their location
  • Advocacy - A strong and influential voice on local issues
  • The BID funds can only be used in the BID area
  • Strengthened partnership
  • Collaboration and communication between public and private sectors
  • Utilisation of private sector management drive and skills