What is a BID?
“A BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT IS A DEFINED AREA IN WHICH A LEVY IS CHARGED ON BUSINESS RATE PAYERS IN ADDITION TO THE BUSINESS RATES BILL. THIS LEVY IS USED TO DEVELOP PROJECTS WHICH WILL BENEFIT BUSINESSES IN THE LOCAL AREA.”
That’s the official government definition. But it doesn’t give the whole picture. In practice, it is the businesses themselves who decide whether a BID should operate – and a ballot of those who would be liable to pay the levy must take place before the BID can start to operate.
The rate at which the levy is set is usually small with the majority of BIDs in the UK setting their rate at 1.5% or 2%. In Skipton the rate has been set at just 1% during the first two terms, and the proposal for the third term is that it should remain at 1%.
Each BID term runs for five years and there is no limit as to what projects or services can be provided. The only requirement is that it should be something that is in addition to services already provided by local authorities. Projects can enhance or improve what is already in place – or can bring something entirely new to the area.
Work on the first Skipton BID commenced in 2007 and was championed by the Skipton Chamber of Trade & Commerce. The first ballot was held in early 2009, with the first term of the BID itself commencing in April of that year. The BID is managed by a Board of Directors comprising representatives of key stakeholders and levy payers.
In 2014 the Skipton BID was renewed for a second term which ends on 31st March 2019. The launch of this Business Plan for a third term marks the start of the process towards a new Skipton BID commencing from 1st April 2019 and running through to 31st March 2024.