What is a Business Improvement District?

A BID (Business Improvement District) is a geographically defined area where businesses come together and agree to invest collectively in projects and services which improve their trading environment.

The Bournemouth Town Centre BID represents and supports more than 700 levy paying businesses and promotes Bournemouth as a safe, secure, attractive, clean, welcoming, vibrant, and connected place to spend time.

The Bournemouth Town Centre BID was first established in 2012, received a second mandate in 2017 and began a new five-year term in July 2022 with the support of levy payers in the ballot in April 2022.

The BID invests millions of pounds, lobbies at a local and national level and acts as the key voice for the town centre and its business community.

Where else have BIDs been developed?

Businesses in more than 300 towns and cities across the country already benefit from being part of a BID.

The nearest town BIDs to Bournemouth are in Poole, Christchurch, Dorchester, Wimborne, Southampton and Winchester, and many coastal resorts such as Blackpool, Brighton and Worthing also have successful BIDs.

What can a BID do?

A BID can deliver anything its businesses decide they need as long, as it is over and above what the local authority already provides.

Different town and cities focus on different issues. In Bournemouth Town Centre our projects and priorities are making the town centre safer, more welcoming, more vibrant, and connected and quite simply a place where residents and visitors want to come more often and stay longer.

A BID provides an important source of help, advice, and support for all its levy payers on a constant, ongoing basis.

How does the BID work?

BIDs are effectively independent, not-for-profit companies with a controlling board made up of, and elected by, representatives of those businesses involved.

The Bournemouth Town Centre BID Board meets regularly to oversee each project and to take the main decisions on behalf of all businesses.

And to ensure the Board reflects the wishes and needs of all the businesses involved in each area, the BID carries out extensive consultation and engagement through mailings, individual and group meetings, surveys and business breakfasts.

Through consultation businesses identify the problems and issues they all face and agree how best to address them.

How much will it cost my business?

All business-rated premises with a rateable value of £12,000 or more in the Bournemouth Town Centre BID area are levy payers.

As a levy payer you pay one annual payment towards the BID each year for five years, starting in July 2022. For most businesses this payment will be calculated at 1.5% of the rateable value for each individual property.

For example, a business with a rateable value of £12,000 will pay £180.

Businesses classed solely as offices will be calculated at 1% of their rateable value.

Businesses with a rateable value below £12,000 are exempt from the BID levy but can pay a voluntary contribution if they wish.

The idea is that businesses contribute relative to their size and turnover.

Taken all together, the levy builds into a powerful fund which can deliver real benefits.

In many cases businesses in a BID area can make direct savings of considerably more than the levy they pay.